Over the past month, I have managed to attend three major conferences, all of which have had their ups and downs.
The Consumer Engagement Optimisation Conference was extremely well organised by Marcus Evans, especially when one takes into consideration that it was their first time hosting an IT conference of this magnitude. I felt that Guy Carter, the International Marketing Manager for Nando's, was the highlight of the conference and helped to give more insight into ‘cheeky advertising’ within boundaries.
I was so pleased to see that the Tourism Indaba had finally stepped up its game and pushed the “backslap” syndrome aside, making space for proper formal business conduct. The iPad application we developed for Wilderness that was launched at the Oyster Box Hotel was a definite highlight, and I managed to touch base with a number of great contacts; four that stood out were Sabi Sabi, Private Safaris, The Thornybush Collection, and Three Cities.
The most recent conference, Net Prophet, was well organised and boasted some awesome speakers, such as Richard Mulholland and Jason Xenopoulos. I did feel that Diana Blake seemed to be targeting the wrong audience for this particular setting with her presentation on electric cars.
A general issue with all of these conferences is a lack of social engagement. The organisers need to consider adding live Twitter streams as well as power stations. Although Net Prophet did have a live Twitter stream, more conferences need to start embracing this. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Social Media Forum, Online Retailing Conference, and IMCC.