Friday, January 04, 2008

The year of un-conferences

I wrote last in November about the evolution of the conference away from Powerpoint and talking heads. In that post, I wrote "Nobody though, as far as I can see, has really come up with quite the right solution to making these events marketable, truly valuable and profitable for the organisers".

Well things seem to be changing fast. CMP Media in the US just paid US$1.2 million (with a possible $3.8 million more to come) for Mass Events, an 'un-conference' business. And, one of America's most respected magazine and B2B bloggers, Rex Hammock is speculating today that 2008 will be a big year for the "unconference" business. Such a big year, in fact, that he thinks we'll be begging for the phrase to be banished by the end of the year. I think I already am. What a silly word.

Rex's post is tongue-in-cheek, but it does highlight the degree to which conference and business event organisers are deeply nervous that their simple recipe for reaping profits doesn't taste so good any more to those who have to pay.

We will be watching carefully for the evolution of this trend in Asia into profitable business.

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