This weekend I will be attending a developer conference. I happened to mention in an online forum that I will be there with a camera. It turns out cameras are not welcome without special permission. Of course now I want to know why. Hmmm, ok, I thought, perhaps they don’t want secrets revealing or official announcements beating to the punch. Nope, no news announcements or NDA material will be revealed looking at the agenda. Scratch that one off the list.
While I am acting all offended and surprised, truthfully this isn’t the first time. Another event with a camera ban specifically asked people not to blog. It seems in this day where “word of mouth” is king (and rightfully so), conference organisers are slow to learn the benefits of it. They rely instead on hoarding the information, using PR and traditional advertising to get the word out.
How much greater and more effective will the buzz be if Flickr was awash with happy, excited faces of attendees? If technorati, tech.meme, digg was crowded with links to conference-related topics and blog posts of satisfied customers?
Of course I will still attend, and more than likely I will still blog it. Heck if I don’t get permission to take pictures I shall probably just try some sneaky camera phone snaps. Just a shame that these things are discouraged rather than seen for the win-win benefit they really are.
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