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How to Improve Omma Social

June 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Yesterday I attended Omma Social Conference in Manhattan.  And I have to say that for the newbies in the audience it must have been very intimidating.  The presenters gave no case studies and spoke in such general terms that you couldn’t get much actionable information out of many of the sessions.

I have to admit that I came late and missed the keynote, and I had to leave early.  So it’s possible that I missed some real gems.  But from 10 AM to 4 PM only one presentation used the projector, nice job Rohit Bhargava! (although, two of the examples from members of your panel were the same thing.)  However, not a single presentation showed actual web pages.  How can you have people talking about the web and not have them showing you the pages, ads, and events they are describing?

I can tell you that one attendee I spoke with gave me the following compliment, “I’ve learned more actionable ideas from you in the last 10 minutes than I have in the whole day here.”  This conversation happened at the 3:15 PM break.

Her questions were simple, and generally unanswered:

  • What is Social Media?
  • How do I start?
  • What should we be doing today?
  • What are the best books?
  • What do we do if a (business i.e. product recall) disaster strikes?

Her statements were even more compelling:

  • My client is afraid of blogs.
  • They are afraid of what their people will say.
  • My clients are worried they are being hurt if their competitors are using Social Media.

Omma did make a very serious attempt to make the event more Social Media friendly.  They twittered live, and used Hashtags but from my reading the tweets lacked substance, which merely reflected the conference.  You can read these Excellent notes on the conference posted by K.B. Skobac. And make your own judgement.

So, how could Omma improve the next conference?  IMHO here are my suggestions:

  • Demand that presenters prepare slides, or a list of bookmarks to illustrate their points.  (PS this will ensure they are more prepared.)
  • Run the twitter stream on the big screen during the conference.  And display it to the presenters.  After all, it’s social isn’t it.
  • Present more actionable info.  Have the moderators require concrete ideas and examples from the panelists.
  • Give the presentations to the audience, post them on the site.

What did you think?  Either from the twitter stream or as an attendee?

Tanks for reading,


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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Rohit // Jun 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Good thoughts – I have to admit, I missed much of the event due to a morning conflict, so I’m probably not in the best place to offer my thoughts here … but all your points seem reasonable I have actually loved the few events I’ve been to where there is a live conversation stream publicly included. My favourite panel experience ever was one where I was moderating and there was a live stream on a big screen right next to the stage. I could just turn to it and grab a question, or know to cut someone off because they were going too long. It makes the job of moderation that much easier, and I personally would rather know and react to it so I can make my sessions as useful as possible for the people in the audience.

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