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5 ways to improve the tech conference experience

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Attending Web 2.0 Expo and Interop this week got me thinking about the kinds of things that conference organizers could do to improve the conference-goer experience leveraging web technology:

1.  It would be great if the conference organizers could suck in my LinkedIn contacts and check it against the conference attendee list.  I ended up bumping into a bunch of people that I knew during the conference but I am willing to bet that there are a few that I missed.  If I knew folks were coming I could have set up some time with them, especially people I hadn’t seen in a long time.  I’d also like to be notified of any ‘2nd degree’ folks who are at the conference.

2.  Suggest sessions that I should attend based on my LinkedIn profile info (or even just my registration information).

3.  A mobile app or badge technology that could notify me if any of the folks in #1 were in my proximity.

4.  Show me names/titles of people staffing each vendor booth for each time period.  That way I know if Tuesday is the only day the CEO fo XYZ company will be at the conference, or if Wednesday is the day the VP of Business Development for ABC company will be around.  And let the vendors opt-out if they don’t want to share this information.

5.  Let that little badge scanner device automatically send out a LinkedIn request to those attendees who wish to stay in contact with a person at a given booth.  You usually exchange business cards but that’s a little clunky.  There could easily be an option for a booth staffer to select their name, and a check box that says that you want to get a LinkedIn request.

Any other ideas on how to improve the conference experience?  And are there any cool companies out there addressing some of this stuff?

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Written by John Gannon

September 21, 2008 at 10:29 pm

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