I just got back from the conference hall, and I have to say, I was highly disappointed!
The presentation format is dead wrong in my opinion. Every topic is split between a panel of 3-4 speakers where each gets to speak around 10 minutes. While you get to hear a lot of talented people, the depth of every presentation is pretty low as each presenter has only 10 minutes to share his story.
This audience needs a LOT more to justify the travel expenses and the insane conference registration fees. Given the fact that most of the attendants are professional service providers, the chance of finding a business opportunity in these events is very low as everybody is trying to sell and there are no buyers.
The only way to justify this trip is if we, the audience, can obtain invaluable information so rare and insightful that will be very hard to learn otherwise - right now this is definitely far from being the case.
You could feel the lack of energy in the air, there was no excitement what so ever. The audience was sleepy and bored, with most people buried deep within their laptops - looking to pass the time somehow.
Change the Format
Why not pick a single speaker per each topic? It will make a huge difference, here is why:
- Having fewer speakers will force the organizers to be way more selective as for who gets to speak.
- The speaker will be able to share a lot more practical information and this is where the true gold lies. Not just WHAT needs to be done but HOW to do it.
- The audience will have more time to participate and ask questions.
If you attended the SMX West conference or similar events - please, share your thoughts and maybe, just maybe, the "management" will hear you!