(belated) Conference Thoughts

When I went searching for my notes and blog posts I had written at the Social Media for Communicators Conference last month, I noticed some were missing. Not sure if they hadn’t been saved properly or saved to a random file location, I was bummed that I couldn’t find a particular post on reflections from a newbie conference-goer.

Lo-and-behold, when I opened Word today, there in my recovered docs was the notes from this post. Although this is a little belated from Vegas, I think its still relevant for any conference-goer (and a good reminder for the next time). Enjoy!

RANDOM conference thoughts:

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if the first person in the row sat at the furthest seat from the aisle, and so on? It would eliminate all the “Excuse me’s” and “sorry I tripped over your humongous bag or bopped you in the face with my humongous bag” awkward moments. Also, it’d be great for filling the room easily, and help those who come in a bit late to find a seat. It’s called courtesy, people.

I love communicators’ conferences, because for the most part everyone is really friendly, outgoing and asks good questions (it’s the nature of being part of a cool profession). But it seems like conference communicators are so busy tapping into their super-cool tech tools (Blackberry, Mac Book Air, iPhone) or texting on the normal cell phones (that would be me…without the super cool tools), that we’re forgetting to communicate with each other. At lunch today, I looked around my table of 8 and at one time saw four people writing on or checking their Blackberries. There was still discussion and interaction, but attention was divided and taken away from the experience as a whole. These people, by the way, are the same ones who will go back to their rooms after the conference and keep working for 4 hours. We’re in Vegas and half the people here won’t walk 500 feet of the strip in three days.

My handwriting has evolved from legible and cute to not-so-legible and ugly. I want cute handwriting again! I’ve been taking notes on my laptop all week…and when I do sit down and hand write notes, they’re UGLY. I don’t want to do it. It’s like third grade all over again – I can’t really write nicely, so why the heck do I want to practice my cursive?

Tip for ladies who love really cute dresses: Don’t wear one with the ballerina tutu material (tulle) underneath when you know you’re going to be sitting all day. One word: Uncomfortable. Save it for when you’re eating solo at the sushi bar later that night (that one works out, trust me).

10 ounce sized drinks seem to be all the rage in Wynn conference rooms – coffee, tea, little sodas. I beg you, Wynn Hotel. What about my favorite 10 oz. beverage that seems natural for day-long conference attendees – RED BULL anyone? A little vodka, too, if you don’t mind…it is Vegas, after all.

I absolutely understand why you wouldn’t advertise the fact that there won’t be Wi-Fi at a social media conference. What I don’t understand is why you would even have a conference about social media and not offer Wi-Fi or internet access anywhere close? What about us who planned on blogging, twittering or heck –working(!!)– during our two or three days at your event? Sure, most people do have super-cool phones that keep them plugged into email (I don’t, see above), but I wouldn’t have ever thought to “bring my own internet” to a conference centered around online tools. One-way twittering via phone text messages for three days is NOT social media. (Neither is posting a blog three weeks after the conference.)

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