Hello fellow MIMlister... and I'm pretty confident it's one of you since few others visit over here these days ; )
Congratulations (and thank you) for getting all the way to the bottom of my MIMlist post on blogs from this morning (1/30/04).
Now here's the payoff.
You're witnessing another benefit that blogs provide - immediacy. I could have (and in retrospect, should have) linked this specific entry to my MIMlist post to point out the versatility of this technology.
With some skill and planning, you could actually use a blog to be your event's primary web site. At its core, all a blog engine is is a content management system. You could easily create content for any aspect of your event - sessions, events, etc. - that would remain as permanent links. A simple link to your online registration provider and voila! you're pretty much done.
TypePad and other blog tools allow you to categorize different types of posts by subject - just like conference tracks. So you could easily create a forum and encourage your speakers to engage on your blog so that prospective attendees would find enlightening coversations on the topics of your event right on your blog in advance of the show - an excellent marketing tactic if done well.
Of course, one thing necessary for viability - and this site is a poor example - is to update regularly. As I mentioned in my post, there's a dearth of online content on tradeshows. So there's not much for me to pull from to keep this site engaging, unless I create it myself. The major expo industry publications still cling to the print model and thus don't have much editorial online. The meeting industry is considerably more progressive, which is why Sue P. could expect more success than I.
If you're intrigued by the idea of using blog software to create your event site, here's the best part. It's dirt cheap. If you're on an ASP model, you pay a monthly fee (and it's costing me $7.95/month for this) and you can add/edit/delete content whenever. No need for a webmaster. Or you could go to something like MoveableType, which is somewhat more sophisticated and customizable.
I will also warn you - the blogsphere can be a black hole. You can find yourself wasting a whole lot of time here as there's a blog for virtually every interest. If you're interested in finding out blogs you could relate to, visit Daypop or Feedster, two search engines built specifically to search blog content.
Thanks for visiting and we'll see you back on the MIMlist soon.