It appears there was some serious mis-communications in regards to Michael Arrington’s appearance at Blogworld. One of the reasons I attend some of these events is that I come to hear specific people speak. The mix up in Michael and several others that did not show did not concern me but I was somewhat surprised and others were disappointed.
This was not the case with BlogWorld I went to meet bloggers, potential and existing podcasters and make business relationships. Overall I am very happy with the three main reasons I went to blogworld expo.
One thing that did disappoint me was some of the sessions that I attended were made up largely of those that had booths at the event. Surprisingly company reps that had booths there were sometimes on more than one panel.
While could not attend all sessions there was a fair amount of pitching going on those I did attend. I think Roxanne Darling said it best in a Twitter of mine while I was live blogging and providing commentary on Twitter.
She said at some conferences attendees would be holding up yellow Bull Shit cards that Attendees are given, when something crops up in a session that is obviously false or when we are being pitched versus taught something valuable.
From now on I am going to walk out of any conference that has sessions in which I get pitched and not taught actually taught something in relation to the session topic that my valuable time and dollars that I invest in the event expects.
So here is how I grade the event.
- Vendor/Exhibitor Area B+ for First Year
I was flabbergasted that companies like SixApart did not have a booth and the only time we saw major blogging company reps was when Anil Dash was given some time during Leo Laporte’s keynote where he talked about Open ID. How is the blogging world going to continue to support these companies if they do not show up at events where there end users are. Really sad and SixApart was not the only blogging company that was not there.
- Sessions C-
One of the questions I was asked by people sitting around me is who is this person, and in fact even I had to Google some of the panelist that were in podcasting sessions because quite frankly I have never heard of them before, and I thought I knew everyone in the podcasting space.
There also some to be a lot of emphasis on direct marketing type activities in the sessions I went to. Their were even what I consider highly un-ethical practices being promoted by panelist. While it was good to see what the mentality of these companies were it disturbed me the length some people will sell there souls to earn money.
- After Hour Event A-
The after hours event at the Hard Rock was great, food was great, drinks were over the top, the only bad thing was the music was to loud for a social event and the biggest comment I heard is what kind of music is this.
My advice to anyone working in the Blogging and Podcasting Space in putting on events like this. Make the break out sessions a commercial free zone, make them interactive not death by power point and moderate pimping of ones product or events.
Simply by putting a session moderator in the room that can stop a session and chastise a company for pitching will stop the activity once and for all.
If I want to be sold your services or hear your elevator pitch I will find you on the show floor. A general introduction is cool but don’t continuously sell me your product during the sessions it lowers the value of the conversation.
Finally: If you are a company and you are going to quote some supposed facts in a session that go against logical thinking of other experts in the field, be prepared to defend those comments in the blogging space. As soon as the audio archives of this event is available I am going to share with you some incredible statements made by company representatives, that I am going to expect them to back those comments up. But I want the Audio clips to get their statements quoted back accurately before I proceed with the hammering away at the commentary.