Why was yesterday’s conference so good, for me? Well, it’s the first time I’ve been to a conference in this format, where companies do short presentations and then take questions and criticism from a panel and from the audience. Obviously a lot depends on how good the questions are, and they were spotty at this show. Sometimes the panelists knew the topic, and other times, not at all. But the format is useful and potentially lively, which helps you stay awake even when the networking is insufficient.
Every conference has to make-due with inadequate technology, one would think that a conference at Microsoft might be exempt, not so. The port issue was a deal-stopper for me and others, and there was no webcast. These are not small issues for the conference promoter, beacuse a conference that has a live presence on the web has exponentially more impact that one with almost no presence, like yesterday’s conference.
It seems we need a dedicated venue in the Bay Area, a permanent space that’s designed for tech conferences. Every conference emanating from Silicon Valley or its environs should have state of the art networking. For that to happen we have to define what that is, and the only way to define it is by doing it.