• Lara McCulloch

    I’m on my iPhone so sorry for the brief and choppy reply. Great post! Do you think that the lack of and quality of the crowdsourced suggestions prior to the conference vs during may also have to do with your attendees’ comfort level with social media and their social technographics?

    • Hi Lara, it’s good to hear from you. The attendees at edACCESS 2010 are very comfortable with social media. (They use Facebook more than Twitter. I think this is because they are extremely busy professionally and prefer asynchronous social media channels.) In my judgment, the quality of the pre-conference session suggestions was similar to those that were suggested at the event. But there just weren’t many advance suggestions.

      I find that conference registrants do not generally want to spend time thinking in advance about an event they’re going to attend months in the future. It’s this reality, rather than their familiarity/comfort with social media that limits attempts to effectively crowdsource events in advance. In support of this observation, Tony Stubblebine of Crowdvine told me recently that significant activity on a conference social networking site begins a mere week before the event commences.

      • Tony Stubblebine

        I may have mispoke or failed to make a subtle distinction. I prefer to say that the majority of activity comes in the week before a conference. We often see significant activity well before. It’s just that this activity is dwarfed by what happens in the final week. So the question I have for crowd sourcing proponents is, “How much early adoption do you need in order to be effective?”

        If you consider call for proposals a form of crowd sourcing (I would consider it at least a relative) then it’s clear that you can get significant activity well before an event.

        • Thanks for the clarification Tony; I’m sorry if I misrepresented your observation. I think that your statement that activity in the final week dwarfs what occurs earlier supports my experience that attendees aren’t thinking much about the event until just before it starts. My subjective experience is that much of the activity in the week before the event is about connecting with other attendees and settling logistics rather than discussing session details.

          I agree that you can get responses in advance to calls for proposals, but tried to show that at the conference I analyzed, responses to these requests were minimal and a small subset of what attendees actually wanted to discuss. Such activity might be considered significant, but I have found that crowdsourcing at the start of the event provides far better results.