We need crafted conferences
I’m a fan of conferences. They provide the right amount of networking and learning to usually warrant the price of admission. Problem is when they don’t, and more and more frequently, we find conferences that do not – we need crafted conferences. Allow me to explain what I mean by “crafted conferences”:
By crafted conferences I mean conferences that exist to educate and facilitate networking. Conferences where there are no sponsored sessions, no product sales and no “featured interviews” (because those are usually sponsored sessions anyway). Conferences where the venue allows people to converse and discuss, because usually, 90% of the knowledge is in the audience and not the stage. Conferences where the curator (or program director) exists for the sole purpose of providing for the audience’s experience, and not (only) that of the speakers and organization.
We need conferences by people who deeply care about other people, and not necessarily about the monetary outcome of the event (although I certainly understand conference organizers need to at the least, cover expenses). Finally, we need crafted conferences to overtake the crappy ones we have now.
Web 2.0 in Berlin earlier this month was a good example of a conference that was subpar (and I say this despite having been a speaker, and being friends with people behind it). The venue was poor, people couldn’t network properly, and there was at least one very blatant product pitch in the main room. Great people behind it, yet a terrible experience. Why?
Got names of conferences where your experience was great? Do talk about them in the comments!