Seattle Interactive Conference (SIC) 2011 … or … How NOT to run a conference for industry professionals

I went to the SIC today and it started out a little sideways. I left the hotel and got a cab to the convention center. Only it wasn’t in the main convention center, that was a legal conference for attorneys. SIC was setup across the street on the opposite corner. When I actually showed up, I hadn’t gone to the pre-party the night before, so I got in the registration line. Problem was they didn’t do the demographics on how many people had A-H or whatever it was as their last name’s first letter. Because of this oversight they managed to create a line that filled the entire lobby for quite a while. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the organizers, who should be in the marketing field, be the first ones to know that you have to split your registration lines by the number of people and not just by the letters?

After that it went downhill. The first talk I attended was Jeff Barr in Cloud Computing: How We Got Here, Where We Are, and Where We Are Heading. I expected a quick gloss over the past and present since we’re mostly all in the field and we ALREADY KNOW THIS STUFF. Several people left well before the talk concluded for just that reason. The entire day was riddled with this kind of thing from talk to talk. Several of the other talks were just agencies bragging about their portfolios. Nothing to see here, move along… People in the field (marketing, PM, designers, etc.) commented to me about this and how they expected more. I can understand if I find it lacking, being that I’m a developer and I am not the target audience for this, but come on. If even they are talking about it, there is something wrong here.

Anyway, my $.02 is next year, fix the registration line fiasco with some common sense. And get speakers that don’t want to brag, but want to share tips, tricks, ideas, and real meaningful information. Otherwise this is just an excuse to take two days off work and party.

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    About the author

    William L. Forney was born in Pennsylvania and relocated to Washington State in early 1999. His hobbies include all the usual things: movies, books, music, video games, etc. He writes short sci-fi/fantasy stories which will someday be published in the form of small novels.

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    He loves computers and has worked in several different areas from web, multimedia, video and 3D animation to database and windows development.

    Currently he works at Visible Reality, LLC as the lead developer and improvGroup, LLC as a networking consultant.

    He also works with Padgett & Padgett, PLLC, the accounting firm where he setup shop after moving.

    His other blog can be found here.