QotD – Are Conferences Dead?

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The increased access to timely, rich, insightful information on the Internet and the rise of “unconferences” like CaseCamp and BarCamp will soon have traditional business and tech conferences on life support.

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5 thoughts on “QotD – Are Conferences Dead?

  1. Sulemaan

    I don’t think traditional conferences are dead per se but they definitely have to prove their value proposition when people have to pay given the recent popularity of free unconferences.
    Traditional pricing models may have to be revisited. The recent Mesh conference was $250 whereas other conferences are up to 4 times more.
    On the flipside other conferences such as the upcoming Digital Marketing Conference have an all-star lineup (Jaffe, Eisenberg, etc.) so that makes the cost more bearable.
    At the end of the day, people will pay if you demonstrate value in attending.

  2. Michael

    Ah yes, the trade conference. The product selling magicians, jugglers and “booth bunnies”, the branded stress release balls, coveted corner booths with spinning logos, the meet and greets spilling over with vendors collecting business cards, the powerpoint presentations aimed at selling more than informing and the subtle paid announcements from Gold Sponsors masquerading as credible panelists. And all this at a company cost of a big dollar entrance fees and travel and expenses to Las Vegas or New Orleans. Hard to imagine anyone wanting a more effective alternative.

  3. Eli Singer

    In essence, conferences are a place for driving value through learning, insight and networking. I don’t think conferences are going to dissapear, rather, people are beginning to realize that they don’t have to empty their pockets to get access to that value.
    Conference, unconference, camp – it’s all the same thing – how can a group of people create value from spending a few hours together.

  4. Michael Seaton

    Likey not. However, margins for organizers will face compression given the quality of information available through the unconference model and the abilty to access qualtiy information so readily online.

  5. June Macdonald

    I think we could see fewer conferences, and more super conferences. Especially to attract folks outside of major centres where unconferences are generally held. Plus the volume of information and number of people you will meet can be more predictable at an annual event, such as the upcoming Digital Marketing conference. I think in this space we also leap too far ahead — we’re much more likely to try new formats. Most people want a ‘sure thing’ delivered in a polished format and lunch included.

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