I’ll come to listen to your parade of movers and shakers, spend the night comfortably cosseted in clean linen. Thanks for the food, flight and great speakers. You’re obviously serious and I must admit, I’m flattered that you want me to come to your do. Although it makes me sound a bit ungrateful (and I’m not), let me tell you how you could be getting better bang for your conference buck.
If you want to ensure that your messages are heard by people that matter – then look for people that use a range of processes for communicating online. They’re connecting (sometimes very loosley) to like minded people interested in formulating relationships with other likeminded people with the express purpose of communicating and developing knowledge. Try engaging these individuals with online identities. They’re mavens trying to join the dots together. Your conference is an opportunity to broaden the conversation and you’ll find that if you connect, they aren’t scared of sharing their thoughts.
So once the thank-you’s have been said, the business cards exchanged, Linkedin Profiles updated, and all other network schmuckwork dissipates at the end of the conference, remember oh conference organiser, that “knowledge – and therefore the learning of knowledge – is distributive, and not located in any given place.” As Downes explains, knowledge consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interactions with a knowing community. So if you are really looking to connect your impressive programme to key people …. then organising a get together of key people in a big city and spend thousands of rands flying in delegates to a hotel stay sandwiched with a seminar filling is only the start of the process. Sorry, you thought the conference was over.