I just got back from the NorthernVoice organizing committee’s post-conference lunch. The conference motto is personal blogging and social media but lots of people who attend or speak are interested in the professional or corporate aspect as well. As a result, one of the perennial topics we talk about is who the conference is for, and what do participants want to listen to. I touched on some of this in my Ebbs and Blogs posting. Personally I’m more interested in the personal blogging aspects than the company PR aspects (YMMV, of course).
Which raises some interesting questions – why would personal bloggers come to a conference? I can think of a few reasons:
- to learn more about techniques, e.g., how to podcast, or how to embed video
- to get ideas for content
- to learn how to write better, to express ideas better
- to meet up with people with some related interests
I guess there are a lot of people who blog who would never come to a blogging conference because what and how they blog is enough for them and they don’t see any need to change anything. But there are also people who don’t do well in crowds, so one issue I see is how to encourage people who are less comfortable at conferences (even small ones), how to make them more comfortable. I don’t know what the answer is; I’m an introvert but it seldom stops me going places, so although I sympathize with those for whom it’s a problem, I’m not sure of what to do to help. If, indeed, anything can be done at the conference organizing level to help.