Defrag Blog

The devil is in…

by Eric Norlin on Sep.19, 2007, under Uncategorized, general

…the details, that is.

As we wade into the miasma that is preparing all of the details for Defrag, I’m reminded again of the things that we will and *won’t* be doing:

We won’t be doing:
1. Conference bags: this is my call, as I’m just kinda sick of throwing another conference bag on a pile in my closet. Plus, while some bags are really nice *most* conference bags aren’t.

2. A “show guide”: you know these - the reams of paper, usually in a binder, that tells you the bio, photo and session description of every speaker. I know these have some utility at bigger shows, but at Defrag, we’re going to be dependent upon world-class Wifi (thanks Swisscomm!) and wikis, etc. Is this the Defrag version of “going green”? ;-)

3. Paper evaluations: Ahh yes, the ever-present “rate this session” sheet of paper that gets passed out. I guess I’m just reflecting myself here, but I *never* fill the papers out. Now, electronic systems — totally different (more on that in a second).

4. Spotty wifi: uh, no. I learned my lesson on that long ago. Our wifi will work. I say that with confidence because we’re using Swisscomm (Ismael from Office 2.0 con can testify to this) — they’re awesome. They cost more, and its worth it. Our wifi will rock.

5. Lack of involvement: If you show up expecting to sit passively, taking notes and not interacting, you’re in for a shock. Jerry’s sessions are guaranteed to get us all riled up and involved. Discussion is rule #1 and the primary mandate.

What we will be doing:

1. Conference Fleeces: EVERYONE is going to get a nice “defrag fleece” (co-sponsored by BEA - thanks!) - it *is* November in Denver, so it will either be 80 or 20 degrees outside. I’d rather give everyone something nice and useful, than another bag.

2. Post-show electronic evaluations: can you say “survey monkey?”

3. TONS of networking tools: we’ll be rolling out more ways for you to connect with other attendees that you can shake a stick at (just look at the sponsors).

4. Personal attention: everyone at Defrag is a VIP, and everyone will get treated as such. Our goal is to foster a community conversation. If you need something to make that happen that we’re not providing, let us know and our crack staff of hundreds (okay, 2 or 3) will hop right on it.

5. Discussion, disagreement, mutual respect and forward movement: I’ve always viewed Defrag as a place that a group of concerned folks will gather to move an issue forward.

6. Persistance: It *will not* end with the conference. Look for persistant wikis, etc that will document the event and continue afterwards.

7. Conversation: I don’t know much about how the conversations will go, but I *do know* that those that are there will leave saying, “holy cow, that was a great conversation I had with X!”

8. FREE Internet connectivity in your room: This is a personal pet peeve — I despise paying for hotel internet when I go to conferences. So what did we do? We had it written into our contract with the hotel — check into the Defrag room block and your room’ internet access is free. Amen.

What are we missing? What “normal” conference things should be scaled back or cut completely, and what should we be working toward? Let me know.

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