5 signs your event is web 1.0

August 26, 2008   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: event management

Photo by: blogefl

You probably heard of Web 2.0

Just to give you an idea, think of a static html page in 1999, well that is Web 1.0. No Interactivity, no community, no sharing.

Think about blogs. This is Web 2.0. A whole new lot of possibilities. Interaction, groups, communities. You can now upload instead of constantly download content, videos and opinions.

Why should you care about this?

If you feel that your target audience have somehow been exposed to a computer lately, they likely witnessed this shift and changed perception accordingly.

The problem with this is that expectations are now harder to meet. If you are loosing on revenues, attendees and sponsors, the above may be the underlying reason.

Let’s troubleshoot your event:

- You have a web page but not a blog

As said above a web page in itself is static not interactive and most of all not personal.

Hey you, I am talking to you. Do you agree with this?

You cannot adopt this tone in a web page, but you definitely have a chance in a blog. If your event has no blog just forget about it. Give your audience the ability to reply, share your content and interact, or should we assume you don’t have compelling content at all?

How to start blogging

- You don’t have a Twitter account for the event

Twitter has changed the event scenario dramatically. 90% of the events I go to, I discovered on Twitter. My peeps know what I like and suggest me great events to go to.

Referrals is more powerful than any other Markom. Events on Twitter are marked by the #. Get yourself a twitter account with your event name. Add people who may be interested through the powerful search tool. I did it for Linked in London.

You also have to expect that the people at the event will tweet during the event. Are you addressing those people?

Twitter in plain English

- You are not webcasting.

If I cannot attend in person I actually want a chance to do it online. You can do it at no cost with an Internet connection, or you can choose fancier solutions. Have you set up a special pricing for those not attending in person?

That could mean more revenues at no extra cost.

- You did not create a community beforehand

I don’t know about you, but I found out that most people attend events to network. They don’t care about how interesting your content is, what great buffet you put together, how comfortable the chairs were.

Who is coming? – is the question you will be facing. Technology gives you the ability to easily create groups, forums, communities either in your website or outside such as on Facebook or Linkedin.

What these great tools do is to actually answer to the above question in a way that maximizes satisfaction.

How to create a forum

- You are having an impact on the environment.

Technology gives you the opportunity to minimize your carbon footprint. I expect that in events. If you don’t recycle, don’t offer carpooling, do not suggest offsetting the trip to the event, I’ll note that down and be extremely unhappy with that.

Great tips here.

  • http://podcampmontreal.org Laurent LaSalle

    Well, I don’t agree that webcasting doesn’t add extra cost; it still requires time (minor editing if video, or “wrapping” is required)… but otherwise, I think you nailed it!

    Laurent LaSalles last blog post..Le nombre de participants grimpe; êtes-vous sur la liste? • Numbers are getting high; are you on the list?

  • http://podcampmontreal.org Laurent LaSalle

    Well, I don’t agree that webcasting doesn’t add extra cost; it still requires time (minor editing if video, or “wrapping” is required)… but otherwise, I think you nailed it!

    Laurent LaSalles last blog post..Le nombre de participants grimpe; êtes-vous sur la liste? • Numbers are getting high; are you on the list?

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Laurent I agree, although if you have a wireless connection and a webcam you can definitely have Ustream at almost no cost!

    @DrWright Thanks

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Laurent I agree, although if you have a wireless connection and a webcam you can definitely have Ustream at almost no cost!

    @DrWright Thanks

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney Hoffman

    I also have problems with the webcasting thing. To get a whole event like Podcamp online, requires organizing a group of people who want to do nothing but film the live event for those players at home. (Side note: Since the bandwidth needed to stream live can crash the wifi for people actually participating in the conference, the wifi ustream option also causes hassles for organizers).

    Live Streaming is also time intensive- to try to organize having people stream the rooms live all day, and we’ve found few people wanting to commit to that, since they want to experience the event itself. We had a hard enough time at one podcamp to get people to commit to checking dedicated audio recorders for batteries and time left on the SD cards, let alone film all the sessions live.

    I suspect it while it’s convenient for many at home, it also provides an excuse not to attend in person. If there’s a cost to the event, the home players get to stay home and get content for free, which is not exactly fair for everyone else- so I bet it’s unlikely that many pro-conferences, or SXSW for example, will be using Ustream in an organized manner for all its content any time soon.

    Now, all of that said, I have tuned into sessions from Podcamp Ohio, Startup Camp, and Indyhall events from my home, especially when I haven’t been able to go because of child care issues. I do love it when I can access events I can’t get to otherwise, but I also realize I am missing out on the most important part of the event- the face to face meeting and hanging out with my peers.

    So I agree- there’s plenty of ways to make events, especially tech oriented events more interactive and fun, in advance as well as during the event. But sometimes, event planners are making choices about where to spend the most valuable and scarce resource- volunteer manpower- on making the engine of the conference run, and the concerns of those attending outweigh the needs of the publicity/community building/people who may have attended but decided not to for time/money/personal reasons.

    What do you think?

    Can you achieve the same impact but recording sessions for later – podcast or video podcast? We’ve had suprisingly few people actually go back and watch/listen to old Podcamp sessions, so demand seems slim unless perhaps it’s in real time.

    I guess I would want a little more proof of demand/impact before dedicating scarce resources to make this happen.

    Whitney Hoffmans last blog post..Here We Go Again

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney Hoffman

    I also have problems with the webcasting thing. To get a whole event like Podcamp online, requires organizing a group of people who want to do nothing but film the live event for those players at home. (Side note: Since the bandwidth needed to stream live can crash the wifi for people actually participating in the conference, the wifi ustream option also causes hassles for organizers).

    Live Streaming is also time intensive- to try to organize having people stream the rooms live all day, and we’ve found few people wanting to commit to that, since they want to experience the event itself. We had a hard enough time at one podcamp to get people to commit to checking dedicated audio recorders for batteries and time left on the SD cards, let alone film all the sessions live.

    I suspect it while it’s convenient for many at home, it also provides an excuse not to attend in person. If there’s a cost to the event, the home players get to stay home and get content for free, which is not exactly fair for everyone else- so I bet it’s unlikely that many pro-conferences, or SXSW for example, will be using Ustream in an organized manner for all its content any time soon.

    Now, all of that said, I have tuned into sessions from Podcamp Ohio, Startup Camp, and Indyhall events from my home, especially when I haven’t been able to go because of child care issues. I do love it when I can access events I can’t get to otherwise, but I also realize I am missing out on the most important part of the event- the face to face meeting and hanging out with my peers.

    So I agree- there’s plenty of ways to make events, especially tech oriented events more interactive and fun, in advance as well as during the event. But sometimes, event planners are making choices about where to spend the most valuable and scarce resource- volunteer manpower- on making the engine of the conference run, and the concerns of those attending outweigh the needs of the publicity/community building/people who may have attended but decided not to for time/money/personal reasons.

    What do you think?

    Can you achieve the same impact but recording sessions for later – podcast or video podcast? We’ve had suprisingly few people actually go back and watch/listen to old Podcamp sessions, so demand seems slim unless perhaps it’s in real time.

    I guess I would want a little more proof of demand/impact before dedicating scarce resources to make this happen.

    Whitney Hoffmans last blog post..Here We Go Again

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hi Whitney

    thanks for your stimulating perspective.

    I am sure tech events in general require a dedicated solution for that. As in fact the wifi network is heavily loaded you definitely need an optimized solution.

    In regard of the live vs. online presence you addressed both perfectly. I would add to that the local component.

    Events are meant to be local (I know it’s my opinion).

    barcamps specifically nailed it in that sense. Traveling to attend should be limited and discouraged.

    There are at least two good reasons for that:
    – Increasing transportation costs due to the oil crisis
    – Carbon footprint offsetting

    In conclusion, I’d definitely support more small events with simple ustream in different locations than one big event.

    Although I am aware that it is not always possible in a commercial context, that is were barcamps are heading with discrete success.

    Maybe a new model is coming up for the industry where the question ‘Who’s coming?’ will be replaced by ‘Who will connect to the event?’

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hi Whitney

    thanks for your stimulating perspective.

    I am sure tech events in general require a dedicated solution for that. As in fact the wifi network is heavily loaded you definitely need an optimized solution.

    In regard of the live vs. online presence you addressed both perfectly. I would add to that the local component.

    Events are meant to be local (I know it’s my opinion).

    barcamps specifically nailed it in that sense. Traveling to attend should be limited and discouraged.

    There are at least two good reasons for that:
    – Increasing transportation costs due to the oil crisis
    – Carbon footprint offsetting

    In conclusion, I’d definitely support more small events with simple ustream in different locations than one big event.

    Although I am aware that it is not always possible in a commercial context, that is were barcamps are heading with discrete success.

    Maybe a new model is coming up for the industry where the question ‘Who’s coming?’ will be replaced by ‘Who will connect to the event?’

  • http://www.technologymadefriendly.blogspot.com david gandrud

    I am leading the web 2.0 for my division. You provide a solid, basic overview….I will certainly encourage my team to visit this posting.

    Thanks,

    david gandruds last blog post..Building an Agenda

  • http://www.technologymadefriendly.blogspot.com david gandrud

    I am leading the web 2.0 for my division. You provide a solid, basic overview….I will certainly encourage my team to visit this posting.

    Thanks,

    david gandruds last blog post..Building an Agenda

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Thanks David!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Thanks David!

  • http://www.digitallyspeaking.com Thierry Curis

    Julius, I agree those are the right Web 2.0 components to implement. What you suggest is exactly what is sweeping through the high-tech conferences already, and I bet the other fields will follow. I believe it is a matter of time, a balance between the attendees growing expectations, and the organizers gaining experience with the cost/revenue model.

    I see why you’re saying live webcasting can be cheap, but I don’t think you will go very far if you do not invest in it. For example, recording an audio podcast can be cheap, but if the speaker shows slides or is doing a computer demonstration, this is probably useless. It should be no wonder that nobody is listening to it. Doing a webcast of a presentation, and manually moving the camera back and forth between the speaker and a washed-out projector screen is not watchable either. It can be fun to do, but if you start charging for online access (which can be a great idea), or setting expectations it will be available online, there is a high risk of frustrating the online audience and making the whole project useless.

    One reaction to your “Events are meant to be local”. I also like very much local events, they’re the best! Unfortunately, in many specialized fields, you need to hear and meet experts, and often they aren’t too many of them. You cannot ask them to speak at too many local events, otherwise that would be their full-time job, and they would definitely loose their expertise. Showing their presentation online helps scale their reach, and the value of the conference itself. But it does not replace meeting the person face to face, and the networking part of a conference.

    My bet is that people will attend just as many conferences in person than before, because there will be still at least 365 days a year in the future, and the desire to meet people and network. But people will probably start watching many additional ones online. You know, the ones we feel the itch to go, but we don’t because it takes to much time away or overall money (plane, hotel…). And over time, people will probably pick which conferences they go to according to what they’ve seen online the year before.

    I believe it is not a zero-sum game, but that it will actually expand the market.

  • http://www.digitallyspeaking.com Thierry Curis

    Julius, I agree those are the right Web 2.0 components to implement. What you suggest is exactly what is sweeping through the high-tech conferences already, and I bet the other fields will follow. I believe it is a matter of time, a balance between the attendees growing expectations, and the organizers gaining experience with the cost/revenue model.

    I see why you’re saying live webcasting can be cheap, but I don’t think you will go very far if you do not invest in it. For example, recording an audio podcast can be cheap, but if the speaker shows slides or is doing a computer demonstration, this is probably useless. It should be no wonder that nobody is listening to it. Doing a webcast of a presentation, and manually moving the camera back and forth between the speaker and a washed-out projector screen is not watchable either. It can be fun to do, but if you start charging for online access (which can be a great idea), or setting expectations it will be available online, there is a high risk of frustrating the online audience and making the whole project useless.

    One reaction to your “Events are meant to be local”. I also like very much local events, they’re the best! Unfortunately, in many specialized fields, you need to hear and meet experts, and often they aren’t too many of them. You cannot ask them to speak at too many local events, otherwise that would be their full-time job, and they would definitely loose their expertise. Showing their presentation online helps scale their reach, and the value of the conference itself. But it does not replace meeting the person face to face, and the networking part of a conference.

    My bet is that people will attend just as many conferences in person than before, because there will be still at least 365 days a year in the future, and the desire to meet people and network. But people will probably start watching many additional ones online. You know, the ones we feel the itch to go, but we don’t because it takes to much time away or overall money (plane, hotel…). And over time, people will probably pick which conferences they go to according to what they’ve seen online the year before.

    I believe it is not a zero-sum game, but that it will actually expand the market.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Thanks for the comment Thierry. I feel like endorsing your perspective.

    I think only time will tell and with the fast improvements in technology as for example holograms displayed by Telstra most of our speculations could be swept away in few years.

    Nonetheless I am really enjoying this conversation!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Thanks for the comment Thierry. I feel like endorsing your perspective.

    I think only time will tell and with the fast improvements in technology as for example holograms displayed by Telstra most of our speculations could be swept away in few years.

    Nonetheless I am really enjoying this conversation!

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  • http://www.eventorb.com Jonathan

    Summed up in simple adjectives, Web 2.0 is bigger, faster, and more efficient. A dressed up manifestation of Moore’s law. So Web 2.0 is merely a stage in a continuing evolution. This evolution to me says, “Don’t skimp on interactivity and multimedia for the web”. I remember when I started out developing for the web and one of the most repeated rules was “make sure users don’t have to scroll down to see your content”. These days that rule begs the question, “what kind of screen resolutions are we dealing with here”. Interactivity is what drives us at eventorb. A very insightful post. Thanks.

  • http://www.eventorb.com Jonathan

    Summed up in simple adjectives, Web 2.0 is bigger, faster, and more efficient. A dressed up manifestation of Moore’s law. So Web 2.0 is merely a stage in a continuing evolution. This evolution to me says, “Don’t skimp on interactivity and multimedia for the web”. I remember when I started out developing for the web and one of the most repeated rules was “make sure users don’t have to scroll down to see your content”. These days that rule begs the question, “what kind of screen resolutions are we dealing with here”. Interactivity is what drives us at eventorb. A very insightful post. Thanks.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hey Jonathan,

    thanks for your comment!

    Julius

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hey Jonathan,

    thanks for your comment!

    Julius

  • http://podcampmontreal.org Laurent LaSalle

    Anyways, for PodCamp Montréal we’re doing the maximum in order to respect your set of rules (which are spot on IMO). We could have done more thought for the latest point, in term of suggesting carpooling, etc.

    But our idea was to minimize the paper usage by not producing flyers to promote the event; we’ll probably think of something for the schedule as well, make it smaller, or to encourage people to go straight on our blog with their iPhones / iPod / Blackberry…

    Laurent LaSalles last blog post..Le nombre de participants grimpe; êtes-vous sur la liste? • Numbers are getting high; are you on the list?

  • http://podcampmontreal.org Laurent LaSalle

    Anyways, for PodCamp Montréal we’re doing the maximum in order to respect your set of rules (which are spot on IMO). We could have done more thought for the latest point, in term of suggesting carpooling, etc.

    But our idea was to minimize the paper usage by not producing flyers to promote the event; we’ll probably think of something for the schedule as well, make it smaller, or to encourage people to go straight on our blog with their iPhones / iPod / Blackberry…

    Laurent LaSalles last blog post..Le nombre de participants grimpe; êtes-vous sur la liste? • Numbers are getting high; are you on the list?

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Laurent,

    you did a great job for PodCamp Montreal.

    I guess you can always improve, as for carpooling, sometimes I am surprised how event managers ignore the very basics though.

    Taking care of recycling, e.g is sometimes completely ignored.

    All the best and let us know how it goes!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Laurent,

    you did a great job for PodCamp Montreal.

    I guess you can always improve, as for carpooling, sometimes I am surprised how event managers ignore the very basics though.

    Taking care of recycling, e.g is sometimes completely ignored.

    All the best and let us know how it goes!

  • Pingback: 5 signes que votre événement est Web 1.0 • 5 signs your event is Web 1.0 | PodCamp Montréal : l’AntiConférence des Nouveaux Médias • the New Media Community UnConference

  • Svetlana

    Hi, Julius!
    I have to say that enjoy this post, especially all the interaction here and the head-pic’s eloquent :-)
    Totally agree with you that technologies have changed the PR & EM. All what you list above – invaluable help for the “next generation” Event. And if it changes the approach it’ll change results! More interaction -> more efficiency!
    Look at PodCamp Mtl dot org, where I was redirected from (and where cannot be this year, because of the locality), – I find this conference very advanced. Thank to webcasting I can follow many events like this around the world.
    Especially like the last point – alot to think about.
    Thanks, I stick with it

  • Svetlana

    Hi, Julius!
    I have to say that enjoy this post, especially all the interaction here and the head-pic’s eloquent :-)
    Totally agree with you that technologies have changed the PR & EM. All what you list above – invaluable help for the “next generation” Event. And if it changes the approach it’ll change results! More interaction -> more efficiency!
    Look at PodCamp Mtl dot org, where I was redirected from (and where cannot be this year, because of the locality), – I find this conference very advanced. Thank to webcasting I can follow many events like this around the world.
    Especially like the last point – alot to think about.
    Thanks, I stick with it

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hey Svetlana,

    Podcamp Montreal and Laurent made a great use of this post and soon I’ll be replying to them!

    Thanks for your comment!

    julius

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    Hey Svetlana,

    Podcamp Montreal and Laurent made a great use of this post and soon I’ll be replying to them!

    Thanks for your comment!

    julius

  • mike ashworth

    I believe that if there are issues with webcasting the whole event you should cherry-pick a handful of those presentations that people will find stimulating and post only those.

    For instance I can’t get to events in the US because I live in the UK and it would be prohibitively expensive, however I do not assume that the whole event would be webcasted either. Just a few key bits is enough for me.

    Interestingly the green thing is something I look for however many organisers overlook it. Event attendees should begin to expect and be vocal about event organisers recognising this and vote with our feet if necessary.

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

  • mike ashworth

    I believe that if there are issues with webcasting the whole event you should cherry-pick a handful of those presentations that people will find stimulating and post only those.

    For instance I can’t get to events in the US because I live in the UK and it would be prohibitively expensive, however I do not assume that the whole event would be webcasted either. Just a few key bits is enough for me.

    Interestingly the green thing is something I look for however many organisers overlook it. Event attendees should begin to expect and be vocal about event organisers recognising this and vote with our feet if necessary.

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK

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  • http://www.aesir.ru Ashton – Iphone

    Hi Julius!
    I also don't agree that webcasting doesn't add extra cost; and it really requires time.
    But I have to say that enjoy this review, particulary all the interaction here.
    I absolutly agree with you that new technologies have changed the web and PR. All what you cite – priceless help for the your readers)
    Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com tojulius

    Sure,

    thanks for your precious comment, keep in mind that ustream.tv allows you to do rudimentary streaming at no cost. If you need a larger webcasting infrastructure, you will possibly have budget for that.

    I think it's a matter of requirements!
    Julius

  • http://rebeccahappy.blogspot.com/ rebeccahappy

    You seem to have covered it all. Recently I am seeing huge events form big trainers being offered totally as a virtual experience. I don't think they are even having a physical place. It will be interesting to see how successful they make this.
    I did have the opportunity to attend Changecamp.ca and they did their best to have it all accessible live via twitter, blog and videobots…not a live steam however.It was all volunteer based. Having live steam and people on the streets would have pushed the inclusion further for interaction.
    I will certainly passing this info along. Tahnks

  • http://rebeccahappy.blogspot.com/ rebeccahappy

    You seem to have covered it all. Recently I am seeing huge events form big trainers being offered totally as a virtual experience. I don't think they are even having a physical place. It will be interesting to see how successful they make this.
    I did have the opportunity to attend Changecamp.ca and they did their best to have it all accessible live via twitter, blog and videobots…not a live steam however.It was all volunteer based. Having live steam and people on the streets would have pushed the inclusion further for interaction.
    I will certainly passing this info along. Tahnks

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