event-with-expiration-dateI’ve been involved in designing, marketing and managing events — mostly conferences in the management, technology, design and creative sectors — for more than ten years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that conferences need to have an expiration date, like food. A sort of “best before dd/mm/yyy”.

What an expiration would prevent is that you go on out of inertia while the experience and significance of the gathering dilutes into irrelevance, waning into a shadow of what it used to be.

[I’ve published the rest of this article here on Medium.com as part of a publication experiment I’m running – soon I will re-post it entirely on this website too].


Lanyrd is one of the few services in the event space (granted, with a strong focus on tech conferences but not only) that keeps innovating and launching new features for event organizers, speakers and attendees alike. They recently introduced two new features:

  • Speaker Directory, helps find speakers via several filters
  • Enhanced Speaker Profile, allows speakers to show the events they take part in, topics they speak about and the coverage from past presentations and more

According to Simon Willison, Lanyrd’s co-founder:

“This new feature is mainly aimed at helping to expose the excellent data we already have. It supports our commercial efforts by making Lanyrd an even more useful tool for speakers, organisers and attendees – the larger our user-base in those categories, the more useful our Lanyrd Pro tools becomes to our paying customers: http://lanyrd.com/pro/


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Last week I talked at the TechFest conference in London on behavior design applied to events and in particular to the technology used at events. TechFest is an event where different innovative event technology providers present their products/services and a series of speakers discuss the most important tech trends applicable to the event industry.

The argument of my keynote is that most of the times event organizsers hope to be “saved” or make their event cooler by just plugging some sort of tech right out of the box. But more often than not this ends up in a miserably failure because technology is a driver, not a goal in itself.

Organizers have to embed the technology into the complete event experience (be it before, during or after the event) and totally commit to it in a way that it helps the participants do what they already want to do, and the way to do this is to design (and implement) behaviors that allow this to happen.

Below you will find the edited version of the slides I used during my presentation, where I share my thoughts on the topic, explain the basics of the Fogg Behavior Model created by BJ Fogg that can be used to design behaviors and some examples of successful event experiences where some sort of technology was used.



daybees-logo-uk-betaA new player is trying to crack the event search vertical: Daybees. So far it works mostly for the UK but is planning to expand over to the USA in the next months.

From their website: This Beta version of Daybees is the first step towards realising our goal of creating the world’s most advanced vertical search engine, focussing specifically on events that can be added to a personalised online calendar.


Highlights from the article Seeking to Outdo Google in Searching for Events on the New York Times:

Daybees bills itself as “the world’s largest events search engine,” with a database of more than 1.5 million happenings of all kinds, whether Bon Jovi concerts or bake sales.

Daybees is one of the growing number of so-called vertical search engines, which aim to carve out a niche for themselves in the lucrative online search business, an area dominated by Google and coveted by other Internet giants like Microsoft and Facebook.


While companies like Ticketmaster operate online listings, these tend to be limited to events with which the companies have commercial arrangements. Daybees says it is independent, and gets no commissions — at least not yet — though it does offer links to Web sites that sell tickets.



On November 28th 2012 I’ll be running a workshop at EIBTM — the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, events and business travel industry — in Barcelona as part of the Corporate Programme track (link). I’ll present some of the most useful tools event organisers can use to create meaningful events and we will attempt to draft a few during the session. The following video presents the topics the workshop is going to deal with.

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Welcome Back, Plancast!

October 17, 2012

in Tools

Plancast (web, mobile app), the social calendar for discovering/tracking/sharing events is back. After being acquired by the Active Network, Plancast has announced today a revamped web interface and a new mobile application with a set of new features. Now it also integrates with LinkedIn and Eventbrite, apart from Facebook and Twitter.


At the time, it was a pity to see Plancast fade out so it’s good to have it back. Time will tell if users will find it useful. The crowded interface is in contrast with what used to be a basic but useful service. Hopefully they now have a sustainable business model.

For more details check out the about page.

The new Plancast homepage is full of new features


This is a guest post by Gabriel Shalom, founder of the KS12 Creative Studio. Over the last couple of years, Gabriel and his team have been developing a new concept for creating storytelling videos for conferences and following their recent participation at the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) I invited him to present it on Conference Basics.

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As an advisor to the South by Southwest Startup Accelerator Program I’m happy to announce that the application process is open! If you think you’re onto something big, are working on what will become the next Twitter or have just launched the beta of an amazing, then you should grab the stage you deserve… Apply now!

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A couple of weeks ago I took part of the launch of a new [paper] notebook in Tokyo, a collaboration between Evernote – the digital application that helps you to “remember everything” – and the legendary stationery producer Moleskine. The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine allows to bridge the gap between physical creation of content (writing or sketching on paper) and digital archiving and search of content (on the Evernote apps).

This product could be particularly useful for conference attendees that like to take down notes with pen and paper as they can then transfer or share the notes for future consultation.

Read on to discover the  features of the Evernote Smart Notebook

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Icon by Benedikte Vanderweeën

Iget this question quite often these days, so here is a list of what I consider some of the best events to attend from now and until the end of 2012 related to Technology, Mobile, Design, Innovation, Storytelling and Make/DIY culture.

Do you have a conference to recommend? Please do it in the comments below!

(You can follow more events selected by Conference Basics on our public Google Calendar)

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