If you plan on going to TechEd in 2007 here on the Gold Coast and have views/requests for what the content should look like Andrew Coates is the man on point and waiting for your email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I just chatted with him and his first thoughts are to incorporate some of Dave Lemphers ideas like shortening the sessions to ~40 minutes and meta tagging the sessions and running “practice runs” to prep the speakers. I indicated this wouldn’t address one of the larger challenges of incorporating/integrating our partners from the expo hall and into the agenda and making this “their” event too….
My suggestion was to run the event on a “Shared Cost/Pain/Ownership” basis with our partners to integrate them into the agenda….
What is a “Shared Cost/Pain/Ownership” Event?
Think of it as profit sharing but for a conference; meaning if the event costs 5 million dollars and we are working on the basis that 5,000 attendees are a break even and we plan to deliver 100 sessions. Each session is worth either $50,000 or 50 people.
For this to occur, a lot of changes would need to be put in place such as a registration system that tracked who the attendees registered for, a voting system that would enable the attendees to correct/proiritize the sessions (probably a good idea no matter what!) and much better communication with the partners involved. (Again a great idea in either case). The largest benefits of this strategy is an event that has content that is exactly what the attendees want, empowers our partners to get involved and if facilities exist scale the event to any size.