Friday, September 12, 2008

Are Conferences Boring?

Blogging is a bit light this week, for reasons I cannot say.

However, Andy Abramson had a post from yesterday that caught my eye, and is rather timely with TMC's IT Expo coming next week. His post is titled "Trade Shows are Boring", and reflects his ennui with CTIA, which he attended this week.

Basically, he's saying the show was pretty dull and was in sharp contrast to the energy he felt at DEMO, and likely would have had at TechCrunch 50. Andy gets to way more events than I do, and I take his word for it. You don't have to look far in the blogosphere to hear the buzz about these events, which I concur may be the model for future events. I'm also an Advisor to eComm 2009, which is another event I would put squarely in that camp.

A lot of this discussion leads back to VON's demise, and I share Andy's concerns about the long term viability of conventional conferences, especially those that have a trade show/exhibitor component.

Andy has certainly seen both sides of the market this week, so his perspective is very valid. For me, this shifts the focus over to the IT Expo now, and it will be very interesting to see if the event succeeds in moving away from the conventional model that clearly is struggling. I'm betting that it will, and I guess we'll know a week from now. It's a topic that's been on my mind a while, and I've posted before about how the conferencing space seems to be evolving.

The big question most conference attendees will be asking is whether TMC has managed to inherit any of the VON community, or if the community has simply dissipated and not left much of a void. We all know how special the VON community is/was, and I just don't know if the market is different now - which is certainly true - or if the right event hasn't come along yet to take its place. Thoughts???

Technorati tags: , , , VON

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Rich Tehrani

While more than one factor killed VON, at TMC we believe the reason ITEXPO won the war against VON was because we had a show which focused on bringing customers to see exhibitors. ITEXPO had been seeing exhibitor defections from VON for years as their customers at the end of the day had to make money.

I agree that to bloggers � of which I am one, shows which focus on companies that are all new are most interesting. There is certainly room in the world for events which focus on new companies as well as those which bring buyers and sellers together.

In addition, you will see a number of new companies at ITEXPO this year, meaning the two are not mutually exclusive.

There are a record number of communications and other companies closing down because they don�t have customers or in many cases resellers. As long as an event can successfully bring customers � and TMC has proven for over 20 years that we can � exhibitors will thrive and buyers will come.

One final point � anyone who has come to the last three ITEXPOs and CTIA events knows that there are events which bring large audiences and have a tremendous buzz on the exhibit hall floor. Most importantly they bring buyers which means exhibitors can come and meet people and then sell things, which in a post-dotcom bust world is what we believe it�s all about.