An industry conference in my living room? Managing a Digital Conference

Skift Take

1. Tell us the big differences between running a traditional conference and hosting a digital conference?

I was reading my feeds when I bumped into BlogOnExpo. Since I am more and more convinced that regular event planning is quickly becoming a thing of the past, I thought I should get more information about how to run a digital conference. Who knows maybe my future client will ask e to run one at some stage. You know I love interviews as they give you real stories from experienced people. So I asked Aditya, to answer few questions on how he managed to start BlogonExpo.

Now, a bit of background first. Aditya says that the goal BlogOnExpo is to make an industry conference accessible. No long flights (and no high pollution), no big monies for accommodation, no extra transportation and so on. You also know that I am a big fan of Open Source and that if it was for me, everyone should be given access to anything.

The first BlogOnExpo was in 2007. If you are a blogger do not miss the great sessions. If you are an event planner participate to familiarize on how it works. Both of you should be reading the interview below.

I have never run a traditional conference, but I presume that a traditional conference would require more work at the place itself from coordinating hotels and expo halls. That is why we held a digital conference instead of a traditional conference. Less stress and more emphasis on the content.

2. How do you involve sponsors?

We set up an exhibit hall with our sponsors ads. We also integrated our sponsors products/tools. For example, one of our sponsors is a logo designer so we had him create all the graphics for the site.

3. Some people say that coffee breaks are the most important part of a conference. How do you allow participants to network before and during the event?

Face to face networking is the big thing you lose with a traditional conference, so we set up a forum to help alleviate that. We have some big tech changes to improve interaction at the next event though more information on that will be coming soon.

4. Digital conferences heavily rely on technology and to some that might be a risk. How do you prevent any technological issue?

Have a solid technical team behind you to resolve issues as they may appear. Also, be sure to pick a good host. We go with MediaTemple.

5. Should we want to host a digital conference, tell us our top 5 priorities?

Content, content, content, content, and content. J Content is the most important aspect of a conference so with other stresses out of the way with a digital conference, focus on content.