Some of the features of the event forced the new media era down our collective throat, providing a good opportunity to assess their relative importance in the context of live conferences.
In the main presentation area, for example, screens were dotted throughout the room to run a live chat between several of the attendees. This was a deeply distracting and fundamentally useless feature, akin to being forced to listen to a couple of people talking about a film that you are still watching.
The room also included a huge "blogger bullpen". Presumably those in attendance from traditional media outlets were forced to scribble on their laps, as only the bullpen included tables to rest laptops on. Love the bloggers though we do, I'm not sure they deserved better resources than the paying punters.
An event that focuses on innovation will necessarily strive for innovation in presentation, and AlwaysOn deserves kudos for trying new things. But in the context of an event like this, the primary focus should be on the presenters, not the snarky comments and commentators ready to take them down a notch.
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