Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

expectnation
a conference management web application


XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

BarCamps and unconferences: what software support do you need?

My latest venture, Expectnation, is conference management software aimed primarily at the traditional form of running conferences. The schedule, speakers and topics are all lined up in advance.

Foo Camp
Campers at O'Reilly's Foo Camp unconference

However, many conferences now are taking the form of "unconferences" in whole or part, exemplified by the BarCamp movement. At these events, the schedule is assembled just in time, and almost everybody is a presenter.

The same problems exist for BarCamp organizers as for conventional event organizers. They still need to use a bunch of diverse tools for their web sites, registration, communication and reportage. Expectnation solves this problem by being a "one-stop shop" tool for conventional conference structures, and we want to do it for BarCamps and unconferences too.

Tell me what you need 

I'm asking for feedback from attendees and organizers of BarCamp-like events as to what kinds of features they're seeking in their support software. We already have the platform to build on, and we want to find out the best ways in which to do it.

The sort of subject areas I'm keen to hear about include

  • registration,
  • attendee social networking,
  • documenting the event,
  • tools already in use, and their effectiveness.

If you have views on this, please join the discussion thread over on the forums. It's worth restating too that I'm very keen to talk about this with attendees as well as organizers.

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