Everybody seems to have their own ideas about which events are best for influencer relations — meeting and engaging with influencers, becoming an influencer. This is especially true right now in the Web 2.0 / social software realm. One event that’s earned my respect over the last year is Defrag. Let me tell you why.
Defrag has 4 of the characteristics I use when deciding what events to recommend to clients:
Clear point of view: Defrag isn’t an industrial landfill of all possible topics within the social software – enterprise 2.0 market space. It has a well-defined focus: software innovations that can help us turn all this data into something meaningful, useful, and world-life-or-job changing. To be sure, this level of focus pulls in well known topical experts. It also attracts lesser known influencers who are driven by a sincere passion.
Who’s buzzing about it: Two of the people who nudged me about this year’s Defrag were Graeme Thickens and Charlene Li. And I don’t mean that I picked it up from their blogs on my FriendFeed. Both mentioned Defrag during 1:1 conversations.
Who’s attending: Check it out for yourself. The AR compartment of my brain lights up when the speaker roster for a relatively small event includes the likes of Kathleen Reidy, Jonathan Yarmis, Paul Kedrosky, Stowe Boyd, Ian Glazer, and Mark Koenig, plus Charlene. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Look at the influencers attending from the entrepreneur, operations and academic communities. This is a well-rounded line-up.
Potential for meaningful dialogue: It’s small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to stay fresh for 2 days. Plus, the agenda brings attendees together for keynotes and filters them into smaller groups for dinners and breakouts. It’s a natural extension of the online social experience. In other words, there’s a high potential for real conversations with real thinkers about stuff you really care about.