I was reading through an article by Rachel Wimberly over at TSNN.com about a Denver convention of teachers and their use of Wifi. The event I am speaking of is at the Colorado Convention Center in my part of the world. The convention is the International Society for Technology In Education or ISTE. The article references Smart City a company that we have featured on here before and a company that is well known in the Wifi space for conventions and trade shows. I think that what we see in a convention like ITSE is going to be the wave of the future for conferences. What TSNN writes is:
Of the 18,000 attendees who showed up for the event, 16,500 of them were online at any given time. Donella Evoniuk, ISTE’s senior director of conference services, said the event has offered free Wi-Fi since 2001, and they have worked with Smart City for several years to ensure the attendees’ demand to be online is met.
I am in the world of social media so it may be that the events that I mostly attend and the ones I am invited to speak at may be more technically minded and may involve more attendees online, but I do think this is a trend that will continue in all conferences and trade shows. The article goes on to state:
Smart City has worked with ISTE on several shows, but Evoniuk said when a preshow survey indicated more than 80 percent of attendees intended to bring their laptops to the show, as well as 50 percent planned to bring both a cell phone and a laptop to the event, they knew demand was going to be unusually high. On top of that, ISTE promoted active back channel communications through live Twitter feeds and the ISTE 2010 Blog Roll, she added.
This is only going to be more of the norm. I am constantly wondering what the “connectivity” is going to be like when I attend events. With the new social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook having the success that they are and the participation we are seeing in the realm of those social sites, we can assume that everyone wants to be connected. There are plenty of new technologies that are being developed for conference and convention attendees in mind that are integrating connectivity in the wifi space that we will see become more prevalent at conventions as well. The article seems to make it sound as if this is a new idea, but in reality, this is slowly becoming the norm.