Alison posted a nice roundup of Day One of the Seattle Interactive Conference (SIC) yesterday. Having just completed Day Two, I don’t think it’s too soon to write up my thoughts on the show overall. As a lean project management software startup that has sent very few of our peeps to conferences (other than the select few that we attend as sponsors), we were excited to see a relevant show come to our own hometown. No travel costs, reasonable ticket prices, what was there to lose? The anticipation and energy heading into the show was good, and I was excited to learn some lessons that I could take back to Bellevue and implement.
Rand Fishkin’s talk on Inbound Marketing made the show for me. I’ve seen him speak on several occasions, and even though much of what he said I’ve heard before, his delivery was spot on. If only more sessions could have been like that. Most were wrought with flat delivery, basic concepts, and bad A/V. I attended one session that was scheduled for 45 minutes and lasted 16. And then there was the laundry list of complaints from attendees, which you could hear everywhere from the bathroom to the tweet stream to even the stage. My overall grade (if I’m being generous): B-. Nonetheless….
Three things to love
1) Venue: The Conference Center was a great venue. Spacious, easy to navigate, clean facilities, great proximity to transportation, restaurants, the works.
2) Branding & Conference Communications: The SIC organizers nailed it here. Good website, plenty of email reminders, all the requisite social stuff, nicely designed materials. No complaints here.
3) The Reunion Vibe: If you’re doing online business in Seattle, you probably got the chance to reconnect with a nice cross-section of your peers from all over town. Without much time between sessions (and family duty during post-party shows), I still got to check in with old & new buddies, including Greg Meyer at Salesforce, Werner Koepf at Wetpaint, Dorota Umeno at Confluence Digital, Curt Woodward of Xconomy, and Andy Boyer of Relaborate.
Those things weren’t quite enough, however, to make me feel like my two days and $300 were completely well spent. SIC can be better – much better.
Five things to improve
1) Better Content: Please, go deeper on the subject matter. Have at least some sessions geared towards Juniors instead of Freshman. (And tell us which ones they are.)
2) Registration: OMG, the lines, the lines. I think I had an anxiety attack looking at those lines. There’s gotta be a better way. Right?
3) Food & Beverages: Ahem… please have some. Water and coffee at least, some pretzels. Anything to avert an epidemic of thirst and blood sugar crashes.
4) More of an exhibitor floor and more time to spend there: The Zumobi charging stand was fun, but nothing else stood out. Then maybe I could make the case for sponsoring next year!
5) Tables for people taking notes on laptops: Maybe a couple rows in the front, at least. I was relieved to have only dropped my iPad on the floor a couple times, and pretty sure I only kicked over three or four coffee cups.
What did you think of the show? Am I being too harsh?