College Assignment Help Writing Original Writing Services Writing A Short Essay How To Write A Short Essay For College Help Writing My Paper Personal Essay For Graduate School Nursing Essay Writer Service Toronto Creative Writing Services Clearwater Creative Writing Services Essays Term Papers Essay Term Paper Difference Helping With Homework Adhd Parents Helping With Homework Write Academic Paper Write Scientific Paper Abstract How To Write Academic Paper For Publication Buy Essays Uk Buy Law Essays Uk Where To Buy Business Plan Pro Premier Writing Term Papers For A Living Help With Thesis Statements Buy A Paper Buy A Paper Shredder Buy A Paper For School Do My Assignments Australia Do My Homework Australia Homework Help In Economics Professional Writing Online Version 3.0 3rd Edition Professional Writing Online James Porter Malaysia Assignment Helper Pay For Research Paper Pay For Your Research Paper Write A Great Essay Write A Strong Essay Write A Good Essay Intro Write A Great College Essay Where Can I Pay Someone To Do My Homework Writing A Paper For College Best Cv Writing Services Uk Best Cv Writing Services India Top Cv Writing Services London Thesis Writing Write An Essay On My Computer Academic Paper Academic Paper Search Essay On My Best Friend In Marathi Language Assignment Help For Students Assignment Writing Service In London Term Papers Writers American Term Paper Writers High School Assignment Help High School Homework Help Write A Narrative Essay Write Report Writing How To Write Report Writing In English Why We Write Report Writing Best Custom Essay Best Custom Essay Company Online Essay Writers Writing Research Papers Writing Research Papers 13th Edition Can Someone Do My Paper University Of Texas At Austin Homework Service How To Buy A Research Paper Cheap Professional Essay Editing Services Custom Report Writing Service Admission Essay Writing Service Admission Essay Introduction College Paper Writers Essays Buy Buying Essays Online Plagiarism Essays English Children Best Place To Buy Research Papers Best Place Buy Research Paper Online Where To Buy Research Papers Write My Papers For Cheap Essays Help Essays Helper Helpless Essays Purchase Essay Online Write College Papers For Money Custom Essay Papers Cheap Custom Essay Papers Custom Essays Essay Help Essay Self Help Best Help Best Essay Help Discount Code Legit Essay Writing Services Cheap Custom Essays English Thesis Papers Custom Essay Writing Usa Academic Writing Services India Academic Paper Writing Service Educational Report Writing Hot To Write A College Essay Homework Hotline Number Homework Helpline Big Y Homework Hotline Ct Homework Helpline Homework Help Line Nyc Customized Essay Custom Essay Writing Custom Essay Help Buy Home Workout Equipment Buy Work Home Leads Key Worker Homebuy How Does Homebuy Work Best Buy At Home Work College Admission Essays For Sale Essay Research Paper Thesis Research Paper Help Writing Argumentative Essay Online Help With Homework Online Accounting Help With Homework Online Help With Algebra Homework Online Help With Statistics Homework How To Start Writing My Research Paper How Do I Start Writing My Research Paper English Essays For Students India English Essays For Kids India Are Custom Essay Writing Services Legal Write My College Essay Me Who Can Do My Essay For Me Nursing Assignment Help Help With Algebra Homework Help With Algebra 2 Homework Help With College Algebra Homework Professional Development Essay Professional Development Plan Essay Cv Writing Service Reviews Essay On Paper Boat Essay On Paper Bags Ghostwriters For Hire Ghost Writers For Hire Nyc Is It Safe To Buy Research Paper Online Law School Personal Statement Editing Service Write A Term Paper For Me Writing Service Agreement Contracts Buying Essays Online Caught Buying Essays Plagiarism Written Essay Papers Scholarship Essay For Business Scholarship Essay For Business School Cheapest Resume Writing Service In India Best Online Will Writing Services Help Me Write An Essay Best Way To Order A Research Paper Research Essay Papers Research Essay Thesis Statement Buy School Papers Buy Law School Papers Buy High School Papers Executive Resume Writing Services India Help With School Homework Help With Secondary School Homework After School Help With Homework Write My Paper Co Write My Paper.com Write My Essay.com Write My Essay.com Reviews Essay Sites List How Can I Write A Perfect Essay How I Write A Good Essay Help Writing Term Paper Writing An Essay Conclusion Essay On Community Helpers For Kids Peer Helpers Essay Domestic Helpers Essay Write My Assignment Australia Best English Essay Site Best Photo Essay Sites Top Custom Writing Service Gre Essay Writing Gre Essay Writing Preparation Essay Writing Companies London Top Essay Writing Companies Writing English Essays Creative Writing English Essays Earth Science Homework Help Why We Buy Book Report Where Can I Buy Book Reports Personal Writing Essay English Essays For Secondary Students Essays For Secondary Students Essay Writing For Esl Learners Essays Written By Esl Students Writing A Narrative Essay For Kids Help Writing Papers Help Writing Research Paper Help Writing Philosophy Paper Custom Writing Cheap Custom Essay Writing Cheap Accounting Assignment Help Melbourne Law Assignment Help Melbourne Essays For High Schoolers Need Someone To Write My Essay Hire Someone To Do My Essay Buy Papers Please Buy Papersofa Professional Writing Company Professional Cv Writing Company Music To Help Write An Essay Words To Help Write An Essay Writing A Recommendation Letter For A Student Teacher How To Write A Recommendation Letter For A Student High School Someone Do My Essay Write Admission Essay Do Essay Writing Services Work Harvard Essay Writing Service Harvard Essay Writing System Harvard Referencing Essay Writing Buy Literature Review Uk Don#39t Want Do My Homework I Can#39t Do My Homework Lyrics Book Review Writing Services Photo Book Services Review Write Winning Scholarship Essays Who Can Write A Paper For You Write Your Paper For You Pay Someone To Write A Paper For You Music To Help Do Homework Help Me To Do My Homework Help I Don#39t Want To Do Homework Cheap Law Essays Cheap Labor Essays Online Report Writing Training Online Report Writing Tool Personal Essay For Graduate School Application College Essay Services Management Essays Leadership Essays Management Vs Leadership Essays Management Accounting Writing A Critical Analysis Of A Painting How To Write A Critical Analysis Essay On A Painting Cheap Essay Uk Professional Written Essays Professional Writing Essays Essay On Research Essay On Research Methods Essay On Research Methodology Essay On Research And Development Essay On Research Ethics Essay On Research Interest Essay On Research Report Easy Graduation Speeches Writing A Basic College Essay How To Write A Basic Argumentative Essay Paid Essays Paid Written Essays Paid College Essays College Essays Essay Writing Do My Research Project Do My Homework For Cash Writing An Essay Introduction To Compare And Contrast List Of Famous Essay Writers Best Resume Writing Services Canada Best Resume Writing Services Toronto Customer Writing Service Essay.org Essay.com Sites Essay.com In Marathi I Need A Thesis I Need A Thesis For My Essay I Need A Thesis For My Paper I Need A Thesis Sentence I Need A Thesis Statement On Bullying Help Writing A Descriptive Essay Writing A Descriptive Essay Powerpoint Writing A Descriptive Essay About Yourself Cheap Dissertation Writing Services Who To Write A Essay How To Write A Essay For College Write Comparison Essay Comparing Writing Essays To Going To The Dentist Writing A Proper Essay How To Write A Proper Essay For College Essay For Me Essay For Medical Assistant Essay For Meteorology Homework Help With Science Writing Paper For College Students Buying Term Papers On Line Need Help With Accounting Assignment Need Help With Marketing Assignment College Homework Help College Algebra Homework Help Academic Writing For Graduate Students Pdf Academic Writing For Graduate Students Answer Key Academic Writing For Graduate Students Swales Academic Writing For Graduate Students Commentary Help Me Write My Paper Writing Essays In English Language And Linguistics Writing Essays In English Language And Linguistics Pdf Writing Essays In English Pdf Writing Essays In English Phrases Writing Progress Reports Writing Progress Reports For Iep Goals Writing Progress Reports For Reading Literature Review Writing Service Uk Research Writing Help Legal Research And Writing Help

Could microblogging and social media undermine the tech conference industry?

This week’s Mesh09 conference in Toronto was a fantastic success, by all accounts.  David Usher continued to move from music into the social media scene, though it couldn’t be resisted to ask “how does Nickelback influence you”.  His response?  “Chad’s a nice guy…”.  Of course, the Globe and Mail’s Mathew Ingram, a conference organizer, was also present and in his usual fine form, chiming in humorously on the Tropicana redesign fiasco in his recap panel with Mike Masnick.  But perhaps the highlight of the sessions was kiva.org’s Jessica Jackley who inspired the crowd with pearls like, “Don’t do it for me or because we’re begging you. Do it because you believe in it”.  Even the after parties  impressed.  From the Social Media Group’s affair at Mod Club on Tuesday night to the Edelman party at Proof Vodka bar on Wednesday.  It was an enjoyable experience all around… well, I guess I could’ve said that.  If I went.

Packed house at Mesh09.  Pity I couldnt be there....

Packed house at Mesh09. Pity I couldn't be there.... (photo credit: @erin_bury)

That’s right.  I didn’t attend Mesh09.  I witnessed no panels.  I attended no parties.  I received none of this info first hand.  I simply sat in the nitch* home/office, armed with my tweetdeck.  As time rolled along, flickr and facebook began to spring to life offering me visuals to go along with the tasty media snacks I’d been consuming all day long.  Of course, this doesn’t even take into account the audio and video podcasts already springing up from panels all across the net (and helpfully linked to on twitter).  So in the end, I was left with a fulfilling two day experience of insights from all the lovely Toronto tweeps religiously covering the event.  Heck, I even knew where in the room my friends were sitting and sometimes what they had for lunch.  This was a phenomenon I’d noticed originally during South By Southwest Interactive, but traveling to Austin and traveling to College Street are two very different things.  Nonetheless, I thought I’d give it a shot again.  And I was relatively pleased with the results.

So by not attending Mesh09, what did I really miss (other than the chance to pay almost $400 to receive info that’s piped into my laptop through the internets)?  I suppose you could say networking.  But as I’ve spoken about in this space before.  With great events like Third Tuesday Toronto, GenYTO, Wired Wednesday, interact and more, there’s plenty of inexpensive ways to shake some hands and make some contacts in this town.  If I was dead set on meeting Mesh09 attendees, I could’ve attended the SMG party at Mod Club for a $15 charitable donation, or the Edelman party for free!

It should be noted that I’m Dutch, and therefore genetically predisposed to frugality, but we’re in recessionary times here.  Times that teach people about the value of a dollar.  Truth be told, I absolutely LOVE tech conferences.  I love panels, I love meeting new people and I love networking.  So I definitely would’ve been at Mesh09 with bells on, but the conference was a luxury my business couldn’t afford right now.  How many other small businesses are in that situation though?  And how veterans are there in the industry that don’t need the networking a conference facilitates?

With all of the social media that these conferences are either providing, or facilitating the spread of through microblog hashtags, are they undermining their own business?  I’d like to think no.  But at a time when it’s clear that business models need to change across a number of sectors, could the tech conference be another victim?  I hope not.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    Glad you were able to enjoy mesh vicariously. :) You can check out mesh videos at media.meshconference.com or mesh TV.

    Hope to see you next year!

    cheers, Mark

  • http://www.nitch.ca Andrew Lane

    Thanks Mark! As an organizer of Mesh09, I’m not sure if this strengthens my point of concern or completely refutes it… In any case, congrats on the conference, as I said above, it was a great success by all accounts!

  • http://michaelocc.com Michael O’Connor Clarke

    “Could microblogging and social media undermine the tech conference industry?” – actually, I’m kind of inclined to think the exact opposite.

    I have a couple of good friends in the conference planning business and know from them that the more social and open conferences are pretty much the ONLY ones that are thriving right now.

    Events like mesh and SXSW – where the buzz and the conversation overflows out into the much, much broader global tech community: they continue to attract sponsors, advertisers and, yes, paying attendees. I think social media is one of the biggest driving factors here: that, plus the overall seismic shifts in attitudes towards marketing we’ve seen over the past 10 years or so.

    The old tech conferences were generally built on a heavily vendor-supported model: you pay for a huge chunk of floor space at our tradeshow, and we’ll let you pontificate at the conference next door.

    Two problems with this:

    1. People grew tired of listening to thinly-veiled canned vendor pitches, and;
    2. Vendors got tired of spending vast chunks of their marketing budgets on untargeted schmoozefests.

    The tech conference circuit had devolved into a sequinned meringue of high-cost/value-free content being pedalled by the clueless to the uninterested. Expense account schmooze FTW!

    This is particularly true in Canada. When I first arrived here from the UK, 13 years ago, there was a full complement of major tech conferences: many of them modelled on their bigger cousins to the south. We had a Comdex in Canada, plus ITWorldCanada and many, many other big conferences and exhibitions right across the country.

    Of course, if you’re a tech company in Canada, in many, many cases you’re far more interested in that giant market to the south – so why would you spend your limited marketing $$ to talk to the same old buddies every year at ComdexCanada, when you could be partying hard (er… *cough* “extending your market”) with the A-list in Vegas?

    I’m consciously leaving gaps in the argument here. Not because I want to, but because I’m in a hurry.

    In short: I believe phenomena such as mesh, the unconference scene, and social media in general have both already killed the tech conference industry at the same time as they’re resurrecting it.

    Conferences are being redefined and reinvented to create something much more useful and valuable. Both for those who participate live on-site AND those who enjoy the event vicariously through the ever-expanding sphere of conversation that emanates from the epicentre of any high-buzz event.

    I’ll let others weigh in on the “what did I miss” question. A lot, IMHO. A small thing, but you’d have realised that Calacanis was a no show, for starters. And that Masnick wasn’t involved in any Tropicana discussion – that was the Pepsico Social Media chief, Bonin Bough.

    But those sound like nitpicks on my part, and I didn’t come here to nitpick. I’m sorry we missed you at mesh. It is a fair chunk of change, I agree, but it’s also the single best Web event in Canada’s terrific and vibrant technology community, and I wouldn’t have missed this mesh – or any of the previous three years’ sessions – for anything.

  • http://www.nitch.ca Andrew Lane

    Michael – thanks for the great breakdown! Well put.
    As for your “nitpicks”, the Calacanis no-show I knew about but left it in to foreshadow to my non-attendance for those paying attention and the Tropicana comment was attributed to Mathew in a tweet from that panel. But like I said, I wasn’t able to attend so I really don’t deserve completely accurate info!
    Thanks for the feedback.

  • http://unhub.com/fnthawar Farhan Thawar

    Not sure why you wouldn’t at least crash the parties (which are free!)