Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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More Things I Hate A Conferences

Posted by lpearle on 12 November 2006

(part three of what I’m sure will be a series)

  • Do not talk down to your audience. Particularly if they’re a bunch of technogeeks – acting surprised that at least one of them is liveblogging, and there’s chat activity, and possibly some VOIP action just means that you lose credibility.
  • On the other hand, assume that someone in the audience is Mr./Ms. Clueless and prepare a handy cheat sheet for them (you’d be surprised how many Big Thinkers still don’t know what RSS is, despite attending several sessions on it). A glossary to be previewed before attending is really great.
  • If you’re doing the One Book/One Conference thing, make sure that everyone knows which edition you want them to read. If a book’s been updated, tell them you want the 2006 edition, not the 2004.
  • Allow more time for cracker-barrel discussions. If it’s a small conference, held in one hotel/conference center, where you start at a group breakfast and end at a group dinner/cocktail party, give them time to relax and talk without it being five minutes in the ladies/mens room!. Otherwise people end up staying up really late and are shot for the next day’s sessions. If it’s a large conference, people have to pick-and-choose what they’ll go to, and not have enough time to compare notes with others.
  • Double check wifi availability. Particularly at a tech-heavy conference, it’s really upsetting when half the people can’t get on/do the work because there’s not enough bandwidth.
  • Presenters, Do not pepper your talk with references to your clients. Do not pimp your latest book. Do not pimp your next conference.

You’ll note that my last rant provoked a response from one of C2’s leaders. I’m not ignoring that, just saving my comments for another post.

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