Thomas MacEntee and Randy Seaver have provided some very well thought out comments and suggestions on their blogs. I don't think my thoughts are going to be quite so organized.
Here are some random thoughts:
- I would like to see a GeneaBloggers Lounge and more focus on helping bloggers meet at conferences.
- I would love to see an empty room set aside with a sign-up schedule much in the way RootsTech had impromptu mini-sessions. I would love to see speakers with the same interests be able to meet together with conference attendees to more thoroughly get into a discussion of a topic.
- I want to see more technology and writing topics at conferences. I'd also like to see talks on how to transfer your research into another form that can be shared - whether that be a book, scrapbooking, multi-media cd, etc.
- I would like conferences to focus more on distributing information through all venues such as email, twitter, Facebook,website etc so that I can be sure that the way I prefer to receive information is covered.
- I want to know about internet access fees, parking fees and other items like this clearly and prominently available before I make reservations.
- I would like to see the daily newsletter/event list published each day on the conference blog and fed out to Facebook and twitter.
- I think it would be fun if conference attendees could submit "tags" during registration to share their interests so that they could connect with other attendees during the conference that have the same interests.
- Wouldn't it be great if there were a central system so that conference attendees could walk up to a computer and type in a question, whether specific to research or to conference details, and be able to get a response to their question from anyone else at the conference?
- Likewise, it would be nice if there were a hospitality computer, where attendees could stop and see videos of the local area, local repositories or look up information on local restaurants. I know you are thinking the internet. But I'm thinking that local businesses might be willing to create videos such as these if asked.
- I'd like to see more virtual/live streaming conferences so that people like me who can't travel to national conferences much can participate without leaving home.
- I'd like more unopposed exhibitor time so I can actually get through an exhibit hall and see everything and talk to all the vendors.
- I'd like to see more exhibitors writing about their conference experience and their products on their blogs they way Mel Wolfgang of Jonathan Sheppard Books does so that I can see what they have to offer before I arrive.
I could go on and on but I think that's enough for now.
Tell me what you want to see from conferences!