This list is incomplete, but I thought there was value in getting it out even in draft state, as it is related to some current discussion on FriendFeed.
An updated list of things to do when planning a conference where you would like to have a lot of online and offline interaction before, during and after the event.
- Identify and promote a tag e.g. example2009
- Make sure your tag is unique, avoids 1 vs. l and similar confusion, and is short
- Short because you're also going to want it to be a Twitter hashtag e.g. #example2009
- Consider registering your tag with various services (I don't know that this is a high priority - I believe a lot more in search-based tag discovery than search registration)
- one example is hitchhikr
- Get a URL, ideally with the tag embedded e.g. example2009.exampleorganisation.org
- Create an Upcoming event
- This will also give you a machine code that Flickr users can embed to get a nice "This photo taken at Example event" notice.
- Create a SlideShare event to store the presentations
- Consider creating an event blog, if relevant
- Consider creating an event wiki, if relevant
- Consider creating an event Twitter account, if relevant (use of hashtags may cover this better)
- Use an aggregator to pull in all the tagged and hashtagged activity
- Create a FriendFeed room for shared conference liveblogging (this can also perform some of the functions of an event blog)
- CoverItLive with Twitter integration is another option
- Use Google Maps and Google Earth integration to highlight your venue and surrounding attractions
- UPDATE 2009-03-03: Since it may he hard for people to use a satellite map to recognise your venue, also consider photos of the exterior of your venue (geotagged in Flickr or PhotoSynth panorama are both good ways to show off the venue) as well as Google Street View and Microsoft Virtual Earth Birds Eye view (if they are available for your location). ENDUPDATE
- Provide live video/webcast, live audio, or later podcasts of audio and video recordings
- You can consider creating a CrowdVine site for the conference, but I'm not convinced how useful these one-off social networking sites are.
- Depending on your community, use the full arsenal of networks available to reach your desired audience. This may be Facebook, but don't forget LinkedIn, Nature Network, and other sites that may be more aligned with your particular target demographic. NOTE: This requires considerable care. There is nothing more disliked in an existing community than an outsider "parachuting in" to promote a particular event / topic / agenda. Make sure you know the etiquette (yes, there is such a thing online) and conventions of any site you use.
- Stable WiFi (a somewhat mythical creature I have yet to see) with all procedures in place (e.g. passwords or accounts if the venue requires them)
- Lots and lots of power outlets
- State the event tag and your expectations of audience technology use at the start of each day (something like "be respectful" will probably cover it)
- Prepare presenters who may not be used to live coverage by their audience, for example see How to Present While People are Twittering
- Also consider having the presenters suggest a single unified location for live coverage - see FriendFeed thread on this topic
- If you plan to record audio or video, check out well in advance what the venue can provide
- And make sure you get permission from presenters in advance
- Consider using QR Code on badges, either for contact information or to connect to people's websites/blogs
* Walt Crawford has some fantastic information about conferences in http://citesandinsights.info/civ7i7.pdf
* Some thoughts on the "amplified conference" on Wikipedia, based on thoughts from from Lorcan Dempsey, Brian Kelly and others
My July 8, 2006 posting conference tag goodness with HitchHikr has links at the bottom to my examination of this topic spanning back to 2004. (This blog was started as a place to put conference notes, so thinking about conference support is in some sense part of its DNA.)