The conference industry is several years behind other industries when it comes to embracing the Internet. Most conference organisers currently use the Internet primarily as a place to promote their conferences and only a small minority of organisers use the Internet for what it is so well suited for – networking and bringing people together.
Bearing in mind that networking is one of the main reasons why people attend conferences and the Internet is essentially a huge network pool, it’s a little surprising that such an important tool that could obviously benefit conference organisers and attendees is so under-utilised.
Conference delegates and organisers expect certain standards from websites they use in their professional lives, online payment processes, and the opportunity to interact and connect with others online. They also want comprehensive yet relevant lists of conferences which do not really exist in the industry.
Our portal provides users with a complete overview of all conferences organised by topic and location within the Asia Pacific region. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, we also offer all the details necessary – including conference description, seat prices, organiser contact details, venue, etc – to evaluate, participate in or sign up for a particular conference.
We developed Conference Bay with the specific needs of conference attendees, organizers, speakers and senior HR managers in mind. We already offer online payment solutions for conference organisers and provide a large online resource for people looking for conferences.
Although there are currently only a few online communities catering specifically to the needs of the conference industry, we are pleased to see some developments e.g. larger international exhibitors and convention organisers allowing delegates to arrange meetings and manage their agendas on their websites, and to connect and build on the contacts made during conferences. Organisers are also beginning to explore new technologies to allow delegates to stay in touch with each other.
Our aim is to link the ‘online social networking’ elements to the ‘offline’ conference experience thereby creating global networks of people with a shared interest in a certain topic, and developing much stronger and more sustainable bonds than is the case in the industry currently.
Arnout Mostert, is founder and CEO of Conference Bay, Conference Bay is holding a Conference for Conference Organisers at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre on January 30, 2008 Further details from www.conferencebay.com