March 25 - 28 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand marks the dates for the second annual New Media marketing conference, organised and hosted by IQPC. To IQPC's credit, they've put together a very impressive line-up of some of South Africa's leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, experts and innovators in the New Media space as speakers.
The two days will include presentations by Matt Buckland, Rudolf Muller, Justin Hartman (w00t), Colin Daniels, Paul Jacobson, Tyler Reed and Allan Kent. I haven't met Jon Bishop but he'll be there too - looking forward to seeing him in action - he is currently head of visual communications at Netcare.
Having been invited to and participated in a few conferences over the last two years I've grown increasingly disillusioned with the lack of cutting-edgeness and innovation usually shown by SA conference organisers (especially since experiencing how it's done in the States). However, IQPC have surprised me time and time again with their sincere desire to grow a conference brand that is truly ground-breaking and world-class. I think this year's event could be even bigger and better is IQPC consider some fairly unconventional innovations that may impact their bottom line in the short term but will certainly extend the shelf life of the New Media Marketing conference brand in the long term.
1. Free wifi at the venue, for the duration of the conference. If I had to choose between yet another flippin' branded bag and flash drive or free wifi, I'd happily opt for the latter. This is a New Media Marketing conference after all.
2. Structured networking opportunities. At DEMO the conference evenings became the hubs for the exchanging of business cards, healthy debate, negotiations and if the rumours were true, the striking up of some pretty impressive deals. On the first evening we had a 'jam session' - basically DEMO organised a bunch of geek muso's to put together some songs and it turned out to be a huge hit. The second evening was a dinner event - pretty formal at DEMO but why not have a similar event at IQPC at a restaurant where the drinks bill is subsidised? Maybe have an informal awards ceremony and some fun banter in the process?
3. Seamless audio visual support. Seeing the 'back-end' of operations at DEMO was a revelation to me. There were no glitches, no hiccups, no problems with presentations at all. Seamless. This is only achieved through the collaborative effort of the speakers, the organisers, the chairperson and of course the technical crew.
4. Discounts for bloggers. The R 8999.00 price tag, if this event proves to achieve it's potential, is almost justified but only if you're a corporate. If I weren't speaking it would be a big ask to fork out that kind of money and I fear there are many bloggers / podcasters / new media enthusiasts who should be there but just cannot afford it. Why not offer bloggers a discounted rate to attend, provided they blog about it? It will help spread the word about the conference and build the brand for next year?
How do you guys think IQPC can build on something good to make it phenomenal?
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