Friday, May 9, 2008

May 2008: What's Wrong With the Convergence Conference?

Once upon a time, we promised to bring the results of our invitation to last October's Convergence Conference attendees to tell us how to improve the conference. Two attendees provided some great feedback, which TCN editor Brad Petit compiled for this issue.

Read the full article here.

Leave your thoughts on this article by using the comments link below.

Recent and archived issues of The Convergence Newsletter

1 comment:

Tim Brown said...

Hi, Folks -

I feel obligated to share some thoughts on the "What's wrong" side, but I hope it's seen more as "what opportunities are there?"

Two things stuck in my mind about October's conference, which I hope we can change for this year's (which I hope to attend). These might seem repeats of what was already brought up, but I think I have some other suggestions that might help.

1) the intensity/grind of the sessions - I think I have a better idea of what the "Deadliest Catch" fishermen go through. The information was great and was definitely worth the time, but it just seemed as if there was little time to catch your breath before the next session began. By the second day, I had to skip out for a beer just to get my head back on straight. Which brought up this idea in my head: Convergence Cocktails. One of the great things about this conference is that people are not just knowledgeable in their fields, but they're actually fun to be around! Why not capitalize on that and have "sessions" where people can socialize and share information? Maybe have tall tables at the "bar" with topics for discussion and debate. I can see the labels now: Fuzzy Navels and Flash!; Scotch and Social Networking Sites; Whiskey and Webcasting. Well, okay, maybe a bit overboard, but I think you get the idea. Educause has done this a couple of times with lunches and breakfasts, and it seems to work well.

2) Death by PowerPoint - I agree with the earlier assessment that there were not enough chances for hands-on; I also agree that I was just as guilty as everyone else. Can we have time carved out for more workshops on things such as Flash, Dreamweaver (maybe a bit much), or content driven sites? Two ideas: have a row (or two) of seats that are connected to a central server, and allow people to rotate through those seats from one session to the next. Maybe we hold either a full session of interactive presentations or have one presentation per session that is interactive. If we can get engaged in something during each session, we might not be so "zombie-like" at the end.

Take this for what you will - it's worth exactly what you paid for it!

Cheers -
Tim Brown
University of Central Florida