I would love to see more education technology conferences adopt this sort of out-reach. Conferences have never been an integral part of the job for most classroom teachers — and with budget cuts already starting to snip their way across the fabric of our education institutions, fewer educators will likely be packing up and driving or flying to the city convention hotel for three days of shared learning and energy-generating friction.
It’s all the more reason why education conferences need to shine more, to radiate ideas rather than rattle them in a box. Here are some ideas:
- Consider a social network for your conference. Although I remain skeptical about social networks, social networking is essential, and a few conferences have made brilliant use of them.
- Give presenters a wiki page to spread out their session descriptions, post presentation commercials, and generate discussion through the commenting feature.
- Give exhibitors a wiki page to spread out their description and to add special offers, schedules of booth presentations, and codes for door prizes.
- Establish and CLEARLY advertise conference tags for bloggers and photographers.
- Either aggregate photos and blog entries, or set up a conference page on Hitchhikr and link to that. (I’m considering doing a major rebuild of Hitchhikr.)
- Generate a tag cloud that represents the conversation that is the conference.
- If you have a social network or are connecting to profiles in some other way, ask attendees (physical & virtual) what’s on their radar, and post that, perhaps as a tag cloud.
- Keep the conference web site going. Continue to maintain it. Post videos and audio podcasts of sessions. It’s good for your community, and good advertising for your conference.
Any other suggestions?