Thinking About Gnomedex 2007

The Gnomedex PosseIt’s been about three weeks now since Gnomedex 2007 and I still haven’t finished off a post that I had started back then. I’ve been thinking alot about this year’s event and wanted to share some of my thoughts after I digested things for a while.

I don’t really have much to say about this year’s festivities other than what has already been said all over the Internet. I hate to say it, but for me, the highlight of this year’s conference was getting to hang out my regular group of friends in Seattle (and not the actual conference itself). Was I completely disappointed? Absolutely not. There were a handful of speakers who were good (Guy Kawasaki and Ignite Seattle were my favorites) and I got to see more of Seattle than I was able to over the past several of years.

Maybe things need to be mixed up?

I think part of the general apathetic feeling that is going on around this year’s Gnomedex is that things need to be changed up a bit.

The event has been at the same location for the past three years (for as long as it has been hosted in Seattle). The kick-off party has always been at the Odyssey Maritime Center. Bell Harbor Conference Center is a great facility and the perfect size for the event, but for those of who attend every year (and I would guess that is the majority of attendees) maybe it needs to be somewhere else? We all end up sitting in the same seats as we do year after year (no one’s fault but our own, I know!). Even the pastries at the continental breakfast each morning are the same year after year (though, those almond-y ones are very good!). :)

I know it’s Chris‘ current hometown, but in my opinion, a change of venue and maybe even moving the event away from Seattle would really re-boot things. I was at the last Gnomedex in Iowa (back in 2003!) and loved the fact that the majority of the people in attendance had to make a conscious effort to get there. The room was full of people from all over which brought a lot of dynamics and energy that really worked well with the speaker line-up. Although I wasn’t there, I heard the same things about Gnomedex 4 that took place in Lake Tahoe.

So what about next year?

I think that I’m going to wait and see what the speaking line-up/plans for next year are. While a lot of what Gnomedex is about are the conversations (hallway, back-channel, at the parties, etc), the speakers who are on stage set the tone/theme. This year’s set of speakers did not set that tone. The hallway conversations weren’t the excited-what’s-next type of conversations. The clique’s retreated to themselves since there wasn’t much to talk about other than “how crazy” the keynote, etc were.

Chris Pirillo at Gnomedex 2007Now that I’m typing all of this out I’m realizing that maybe because so much is the same year after year, I’m/we are expecting the same type of conference year after year?

Anyways, I just wanted to write some of these thoughts down since I was thinking about them a lot. You may agree with me or you may not. I know Chris and Ponzi put a ton of effort and energy into the event each year and really respect their dedication. There was just something about the vibe this year that didn’t make it a stand out year for me.

I think the feelings I have about Gnomedex 2007 come from my attendance of several over the last couple of years and people who attended for their first time may have a completely different set of thoughts/feelings. Regardless, I’m still anxiously looking forward to what Mr. Pirillo has up his sleeve for 2008.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 at 12:30 pm and is filed under gnomedex, me. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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