Saturday, March 12, 2005

Atoms - Conference Minimum Requirements

Still debating whether or not to hit any of the parties tonight. May just wait until tomorrow.

I did have a thought about the minimum requirements a conference must provide after getting nothing from the Zeldman presentation.

So here are my minimums and they're all atoms.

1. The conference should provide me the information about what it does, a method to communicate and allow me to make choices of where to go, what to do, etc. in a quick and easy way.

SXSW has provided me with the full catalog, the PDA schedule (sponsored by Ask Jeeves) and a little late but better late than never. It's also organized well. Thank you.

SXSW has a community blog but not an easy link from what I can find on the site. I remember in years past an easy to get to blog. Still looking.

The SXSW forums haven't been updated today which leads me to believe these are dead for the conference. Maybe they'll be revived.

2. The conference should give me something for attending; i.e., a t-shirt, a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a bag are a few of the things that come to mind.

SXSW has provided me with the bag. Great to use at the library and the grocery store or to bundle up dirty clothes when camping.

SXSW provided free breakfast tacos, orange juice and coffee this morning. Excellent!

SXSW provided a late-afternoon beverage of my choice, including alcoholic beverages. Excellent! And will do so each day of the conference.

3. At the tradeshow, the booths should provide swag. I know the economy's been rough but if you're going to show up and have a booth, bring the SWAG. And it better be good swag. None of this chicklet crap or putt-three-golf-balls-in-the-hole-to-get-one-our-10-pieces-of-swag games. Good, crowd creating, elbow-my-buddy-out-of-the-way-swag.

The tradeshow opens tomorrow, so I'll let you know. A conference is sometimes judged on the amount of swag it attendees take home. So far the swag in the bag has been minimal, a couple of plastic CD covers (already have plenty), a key chain bottle opener and a couple of magazines (Linux Journal is good).

4. A conference should schedule panels that provide brain food to its attendees. Panelists, keynote speakers and presenters should provide at least one piece of brain food during their presentation.

Today's first presentation did that quite well. As soon as I get a grip on my schedule, the blogs and why my digital music player is messed up, I'll have time to think about everything Alexander spoke of in greater detail.

The Zeldman presentation didn't provide one piece of brain food. Not a crumb. A complete disappointment.


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