the future of conferences?

The organisers of the be2camp event met on-line late Monday evening (well it was breakfast in Sydney, tea time in Illinois, and late here in the UK!) to continue with the development of this project and event.  The agenda and arrangements are now shaping up very nicely. (It was noted that this event development and the communication between the organisers has not yet needed one email between us)

For an excellent  insight as to this type of event, read Pam Broviak’s report of her attendance at a Chicago event. Pam, a Public Works Director in Illinois comments:

I retained more from this conference than I normally would at a more traditional event and met more people

So is the unconference, low cost, free (as in free speech) barcamp event going to replace the high fee corporate control-organised events? .  Time will tell.   But surely, as budgets bite and delegates and organisations question the value from attending high fee conference events, the knowledge gained (and retained) and the networking value, bar camp and other non-conference events will undoubtedly become more common and popular.

Be2Camp – a barcamp type non-confernce event, exploring the use of Web 2.0 approaches in the built environment will be held in London, at the Building Center, Store Street, on October 10th.

Register for free here.

The backstory to be2camp:

The concept for be2camp started as a Twitter conversation between Martin Brown (built environment advisor) and Paul Wilkinson, (Comms Director BIW) following Martin’s attendance at barcamp type events, suggesting we do ‘something’ for the (UK) built environment. This discussion was picked by Jodie Miners in Australia, (Construction Collaborative IT specialist)  again through Twitter, and through conversations within Second Life with Pam Broviak (Director Public Works) from Illinois, USA. The timing of the event has been fixed to coincide with Jodie’s visit to the UK. We do hope Pam will be able to attend, if not she will be coordinating the be2camp Second Life activities. So now you know who to contact, praise or blame!

4 thoughts on “the future of conferences?

  1. Jodie Miners

    Great post Martin, thanks.

    I looked at a web page yesterday promoting a 2 day conference for web 2.0 type stuff coming up in Sydney and they were charging $1995. It had a 1 page overview of the conference and about 10 bullet points as to the benefits of attending… (I won’t point out which site it was).
    Wow what a load of ****.
    Most conferences like this seem to have a number of speakers that are promoting their product and they are just there speaking the same old corporate line… they are not passionate and engaged speakers like you will get at an unconference…
    I think many corporates don’t see the value in community driven events yet – if you don’t have to pay anything for the information, it must not be that valuable…

    (yes, I’m passionate and engaged about this topic, can you tell?…)


  2. Paul Wilkinson

    I just got an email about a one-day event on social software in the enterprise in London. Cost £595+VAT, and mainly pushing blogs and wikis by the look of the programme. Needless to say, having been using these tools for years, that doesn’t impress me.


  3. Pingback: future of conference - 2 « isite

  4. Pingback: E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez » The Future of Conference Events - Looking after the Health of Attendees

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