Re: Attendance Requirement


Subject: Re: Attendance Requirement
From: Richard Wentk (richard@skydancer.com)
Date: Mon Jan 31 2005 - 20:29:17 EST


At 03:44 29/01/2005, you wrote:
>There are a number of items here, among them as to the function of a
>conference.
>
>If the object is to have one's work heard, web posting and other means of
>distribution may be more effective. At a conference, the work is heard
>once, by those in attendance.

Well, that's a good question. What *is* the object? My experience in other
contexts is that the usual reasons are:

Networking, both professional and personal
Some formal presentation of ideas/developments/exercises and formal
feedback on same

But... face to face dialogue can be either very high bandwidth and very low
bandwidth, depending on the context. Online interactions tend to average
out reliably between the two extremes.

So is there really any point in having a regular cycle of (mostly
competing) conferences when much of the same interaction could happen
online in a more inclusive way - inclusive meaning professionally,
financially and geographically? And also in terms of available time, in the
sense of - do people really get more done during a short annual conference
than they would during a focussed year online?

>Doing a concert series can be a bit different as there is (frequently) a
>reduced overhead. Conferences are often "bigger" affairs and have costs
>which have to be covered, somehow, usually by the attendees.

What do conferences offer in cost/benefit terms that other forms of
interaction don't?

>How many people would pay the registration fee to go to a conference where
>few (or none) of the composers are present?

That would depend on why the composers were there. To explain the work,
diffuse it, discuss new ideas, or just to be introduced at the beginning
and then to leave after a little applause?

>What are some of the options given the harsher economic realities.

Expanding the online community in various directions is looking more and
more attractive from where I am.

Richard



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