Relevent Conference 2009

This morning, I leaked high level information about a new conference I’m organizing here in the DC area. This conference was born out of over a year of attending conferences and events that were mostly good but seemed to be missing key components. The most recent was WordCamp Dallas where I noted in previous post:

At the end of the day, it’s not about if you use WordPress or Typepad or any other blog platform. Sure, there are things to consider when choosing. However, at the end of the day, it’s about creating engaging content that creates community between author and readers. That’s the important part.

The conference, that is being called the Relevent Conference (typo intended, play on words), is all about relevancy, a topic that I talk about a lot in various forms on this blog. I see relevancy in social media that meets real life needs, brings real life value to individuals and businesses. I see relevancy as being as much a philosophical factor as it is a practical factor. Why is Twitter more relevant than Pownce? To me, it’s because I can use it from my cellphone much easier than Pownce. Just a single example.

So the goal in Relevent 2009 is to bring together web people tot talk about relevancy in the social space. how can we do better? What is being done right? How can I contribute? What is relevant to me?

To that end, I’ve got a rough list of folks I’d like to have come and speak, but the list is far from complete or set in stone. The distinctive nature of the event is that fewer of the “typical players” that make the conference speaking circuit will be speakers and more folks that can speak to the application of social media in their mainstream lives will be there. Hopefully a few you might know of. ;-)

The questions I have to answer before going into a whole lot more details are:

  1. Can we get the speakers? How much will they cost me?
  2. Where in the Baltimore/Washington area can we host this?
  3. What is a good balance between conference pricetag and sponsorship?
  4. Which companies (with a good mix of local companies) can sponsor?
  5. Who will design our site and blog?
  6. Who can step up as a facilitator and help with the logisitcs of bookings, phone calls, etc?
  7. Dates
  8. Parties and Dinners
  9. Wifi
  10. Which bands will be asked if they will come and perform? (Yes, I want a mini-concert or two from a local band – distinctive! ;-) )
  11. ______

I’ve never organized a conference so this will be a learning experience. Any advice, pointers and volunteers are welcome. Email me at and I will also certainly share more as the details become clearer.