Friday, June 22, 2012

NXNEi 2012

Last week I spent Tuesday-Friday over at the Hyatt Regency, attending the NXNE music festival's NXNEi conference for work (I work doing internet stuff for bands). This is my third year at the conference and without a doubt, this one was the best yet, at least seminar-wise. But while I did learn a lot, there’s still room for improvement…

The Good
  • I took away something from almost every seminar I attended. Many were packed with real world examples/case studies that I found both interesting and related to the work I do. I particularly enjoyed a session that looked at online contesting and one that looked at online community management through three detailed case studies.
    I also really liked Damian Abraham (from the band Fucked Up)’s talk on the history of punk music. OK, it had nothing to do with my work but it was so interesting and entertaining. I wish it had gone on for another hour.
    Another music-focused session that really wowed me was one that looked at how the Toronto music industry could become like Austin if only the proper government support was in place (if this interests you, check out this report).
  • I think that the organizers did a great job this year at organizing seminars that covered a wide variety of topics. While the majority of seminars did fall under the “interactive” label, that label really covered a lot of ground, everything from design to marketing to community management. There was also a good number of seminars that were focused on music, film and education.
  • There was no daily keynote speaker this year, a change I quite enjoyed since I find that keynote speakers generally lack the practical element that I like. 
  •  The design of this year’s swag bag is great! Besides looking nice, it also seems like a really durable bag.
The actual bag was good, its contents not so much
The Not-so-good
  •  I spent the Tuesday at a workshop on social media strategy. Its write-up sounded promising and the fact that you needed to have access to a variety of social networks as well as Google Analytics made me think that yep, I was going to take a lot away from that day. But I didn’t because this workshop was very, very introductory. Why that fact wasn’t mentioned in the write-up is an unfortunate mystery, one that resulted in me basically wasting a day. 
  • On Thursday, there was an afternoon snack of cookies and assorted baked goods, which I quite liked. But why only on the Thursday? Couldn’t they find a Toronto bakery willing to deliver daily free goodies to a group of people who would happily tweet, “Eating a delicious brownie from  @bakerynamehere.”
  • On a related note, what’s with the sad swag bag contents? Again, most of the people attending NXNEi are very social online and love tweeting/posting/writing about the free stuff they’ve received. I feel like they are so many missed sponsorship opportunities in relationship to NXNEi.
  • Any maybe if there were better/more sponsors, the NX Lounge, which is supposed to act as, “the home base during the (NXNE) festival” wouldn’t be as sad and empty as it was. 
  •  Finally, I feel that there needs to be more networking opportunities created and no, parties in the evening don’t count because there is just too much going on that week. Instead, I’d like to see events, maybe something modelled on a speed dating format, organized during the actual conference (even something over lunch could work).  This is something I’ve mentioned before and is something that I feel I need to mention again because it’s so obvious and it’s something that I think could be a great feature of the conference.
If you’re looking for highlights from the hundreds of NXNE shows that took place last week, check out this post over on BlogTO. I didn’t bother to grab a music pass this year, in part because I was supposed to spend last Saturday up at Downsview, watching Radiohead. Sadly that didn’t quite work out…

No comments:

Post a Comment