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RE: Brand Infringement
You are to immediately discountinue use of the phrase The 'Quack' cocaine of internet marketing as it has the potential to confuse the public and dilute the value of our client's highly branded servicemark/slogan Affiliate Marketing: the crack cocaine of the internetsm.
Cease & Desist Paralegal and Office Peon
Don't change a winning horse, they say, and the successes of the first two bar/pub conferences could indicate that the next one should be arranged in the same way, i.e. as an unstructured place to mingle.
In our opinion it should certainly not become a new traditional conference with two days of talks and seminars. There are already several companies that arrange such conferences, and there is probably no need for another one. Moreover, arranging a traditional conference is much more costly and time consuming.
We have benefited greatly from taking part in the two previous conferences. We have got many new friends and we have gained access to highly relevant knowledge.
Some participants have, however, hinted to us that they would like to see a more structured approach, uniting all the participants.
One way of doing this could be to have an official opening. At 1 o'clock precicely the floor could be given to a conference toastmaster, who could welcome all the guests and lead a debate on a topic of common interest.
We would suggest that the arrangement committee asks one or two prominent SE and SEO people to start the debate. By all means, find two outspoken "antagonists", and let them challenge each other for some 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively one could get some SE representatives to give out som juicy information. Then open the floor for questions and replies. The opening should last no longer than 45 minutes max.
If one gets some well known people to take part in this session, one could use it in the marketing.
Others have suggested that one should have several tables where SE and SEO experts are avialable for advice and discussions. This is a good idea (and there actually were such tables in London) but they should be clearly marked as such, and there should be room for at least five or six people at each of them.
One could also consider having an official ending of the conference. The distribution of prizes could be combined with a short summary made by one of the moderators.
The fact that the conference is such an informal meeting place, means that it often starts the day before, and continues into the night. More people would probably stay if there were an announcement regarding where people could meet after the conference itself.
We are aware of the fact that some participants would like to take this opportunity to arrange some private meetings. Still, if at least some from the arrangement committee gathered at a officially announced public place, that would probably help.
perkoch & susanne
Perhaps in the same way that workdays are 8 hours work with one hour lunch, something similar could work, though in reverse, maintaining the unstructured format that obviously has had such appeal for the majority of the time, and still providing a portion that's structured to some degree.
>two outspoken "antagonists"
There's no lack of those around, and certainly no lack of possible topics. Debate is a fascinating concept, structured yet maintaining an unstructured, spontaneous flavor.
perkoch, thank you so much for the excellent input; you've evidently given it considerable thought and attention.
The feedback I got was more than a hint. ;-)
>an unstructured place to mingle.
There will still be that! We aren't talking doing away with the 'bar/networking' portion, we are just talking ADDING to it.
It was pretty clear from the feedback we got from California, that we needed to have a bit more.
I wish I would have had more time to set down and chat with you at BarConf. It seemed I was always doing something, or someone was grabbing me to go here or there.
It was just that occurrence that lead many of us to realize, there just wasn't enough main course to the show.
We had quite a few people upset that their wasn't any kind of formal presentations at the last one.
>Don't change a winning horse,
If the horse is dead, then get off it ;-)
If it were the same again, it would be about 50 people, and you'd be paying your own bar bill and wmw wouldn't be involved. It was clear the current format was tapped out and another one wasn't going to happen in it's current state. I sure wouldn't be there - most others wouldn't either.
Round tables are definitely on the "table" and being actively discussed.
We are looking for something "unique". Something that that no one else is doing, and that the community would enjoy.
Basically, we want more.
I think the debate idea is brilliant though! It would be a very refreshing change of pace from the traditional sit-and-listen-and-clap keynote, IMO. And the small group roundtables look like an excellent alternative to sit-and-listen-and-take-notes seminars. An actual interactive conference from start to finish!
But I fully agree that one of the main courses (the founding sire of the line, to overstretch my horse metaphor) should still be the excellent networking pubconference we've all grown to love. The event would lose it's soul without it. :)