It seems that after attending a meeting or event, we come away feeling that there was more benefit in the networking than the presentations.

Every conference organizer tries their best to make every speaker relevant and beneficial for the audience, but frequently it just doesn’t turn out that way. I’ve been on plenty of conference planning committees – and have presented at lots of conferences and monthly meetings – so I’ve experienced the frustration from both sides.

The authors of We Have Always Done It That Way feel the same way:

Ask any conference attendee where the value is and you will most likely here, “in the hallways” or “at the social functions”. Why? Because this is the place where real-time business issues can be addressed.

They have some good ideas for helping attendees solve current problems by using the Web to improve networking before, during, and after a conference or event. They also have some good ideas on how to learn about attendee needs so speakers can present more of what the audience is looking for.

For us in event promotion, improving the benefits of an event gives us more to tell prospective attendees – and improves the likelihood that those who attend will come again in the future.