HostingCon 2007 Draws Biggest Crowd Yet
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After the success of last year’s Las Vegas show, the organizers of HostingCon 2007 chose to return to Chicago for the third year of the web hosting conference and trade show. About 1,200 attendees and 85 exhibitors made it to the three-day event on Navy Pier last week. This article will give you a rundown of some of the highlights.
First, let me confess that I didn’t make it to the conference myself. But plenty of people wrote blog entries about the event. The HostingCon 2007 site even had its own blog, accessible from the HostingCon Connect section of the site.
And there was certainly a lot to blog about. The conference featured three keynotes and 40 conference sessions, plus various special events planned both by the organizers of the conference and the exhibitors who attended. As you’d expect at a trade conference, many of the attendees took advantage of the parties as another chance to network.
HostingCon’s organizers tried a number of new things this year. One of them was the aforementioned HostingCon Connect section of its site. George Roberts, president and CEO of Interjuncture, the company running HostingCon, explained that this section “is the place where all of the content that isn't related to a specific HostingCon show goes." This includes the conference blog, management features for show attendees and exhibitors, and more. The point of HostingCon Connect was to help the conference’s participants to network and get things done.
To help attendees stay up to speed on what was happening at the conference, informational monitors listed the times and locations of show events. The show monitors also displayed a live Twitter feed for those who simply had to know the up-to-the-minute show buzz, as well as a live Flickr feed of photos taken at the show.
Sometimes, though, the most popular new items were relatively low-tech. At Monday’s lunch, signs on the tables indicated the topic for discussion at the table; those interested in the topic on a particular table’s sign sat down and spent a lively time networking. One attendee noted that “Somehow, one of the tables changed their signs to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) but I’d imagine that has a story of its own.”
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