By now you’ve seen the preliminary schedule for BlogWorld ’10. Right now it only contains confirmed sessions and speakers. As we approve more each day, we hope you’ll check back often for updates.
Soon after I published the schedule I was met with a flurry of questions about the sessions and panels and why they are scheduled as they are. Some speakers have expressed disappointment in missing a friend’s panel, some attendees are upset at having to choose between two “famous” speakers, and some speakers would rather not talk more than once in the same day. I never realized this before, but it’s not easy to schedule a conference.
If you’re wondering why you’re scheduled at a certain time, or you’re disappointed because two must-see sessions are scheduled at the same time, consider this:
- Certain speakers can only talk on a specific day and time. Many of our speakers aren’t spending the entire weekend at BlogWorld. However, they’re making arrangements to fly in for the day or even a few hours. We arranged these schedules and sessions at the speakers’ convenience.
- Most tracks are only one day. Smaller tracks such as Content or Community are only scheduled for one day. We can’t schedule a talk for Friday if the track only runs on Saturday.
- Some speakers are scheduled for more than one talk. The last thing we want to do is schedule the same speaker for different talks at the same time.This takes some schedule wrangling.
- Exhibits. It was suggested to me a few times that we can schedule extra sessions if we start earlier instead of sending people to the exhibit floor. This is true. However, without our exhibitors and sponsors there wouldn’t be a BlogWorld and your ticket would cost a lot more money than it does. The least we can do is offer them a couple of hours here and there so attendees will come visit their booths.
- Keynotes. We choose the best presentations and presenters to be our keynoters, and hope all of our attendees sit in. Thus, we don’t schedule other presentations during keynotes.
- Breaks. Without breaks for lunch and networking, you won’t meet others. You won’t land new contacts, you won’t click with that other blogger to work up a killer collaboration and you won’t find that job.
- The puzzle. Creating a schedule is like a puzzle. All pieces have to fit into place. Moving a session isn’t easy because it has to be switched with another movable session. As you can see, most sessions aren’t movable. Plus, it’s easier to move a single speaker session than an entire panel. On a panel you’re dealing with three or four people’s schedules, not just one. If all pieces don’t fit, we have to play around for hours to make them fit.
All of the BlogWorld sessions are scheduled where they are for a reason. Sometimes that means a speaker has to run down the hall to make it to his next engagement on time or that you have to choose between two awesome sessions.
To be honest, it makes me feel good to know how hard it is to choose sessions to attend – because that means we have so many good sessions it’s hard to decide. I’d rather attendees are faced with that difficult decision than to have them not want to attend sessions because of poor content.
Do you have any thoughts or comments you’d like to discuss regarding the schedule for BlogWorld ’10? Do share in the comments. Everything we discuss helps us to know what we’re doing right, and where we need improvement.
Deb Ng is the Conference Director for BlogWorld. When she’s not playing around with schedules or bugging speakers for agreements, she’s blogging about blogging and social media at Kommein. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.