As a satirist and a cynic, you would think that at the conclusion of ROI, I would have a laundry list of complaints — but I do not. In fact, I think overall it was a great conference. I learned a lot, gained some valuable information, met some great people, got a free trip to Israel and ate like a king.
If I could do it all over again, I think I would have picked the Arts and Culture track over the New Media track. As a blogger and someone involved in New Media on a daily basis, I expected that people who chose the New Media track would understand the basics of blogging, Facebook and Twitter, but that wasnâ€™t the case. Too much time was spent talking about Twitter and building online communities, but I think there were some key points missed — most importantly, how to actually get the traffic there in the first place. There was no mention of search engine marketing, social bookmarking and proper tagging of things so people can find you in the first place.
Iâ€™m sorry to say, but you can discuss mobile media, Twitter and building communities all you want, but if your website gets 50 hits a day it won’t do you any good.
With that said, I think other people who were less advanced as I was gained from the track sessions. I gained my most valuable lessons from the professional workshops run by experts in their field. I think these were very important and would have liked to see more of them. I am not even sure I liked the concentrated track session time so much, I would have liked to hop between track sessions or the ability to sit in on other ones if I wanted.
The ROI organizers did get the networking events 100% right. From the first night’s childish games of rock paper scissors to the closing dinner VIP event, ROI staff and organizers did an amazing job with facilitating connections between VIP folks and the ROIers who needed to make that connection. I met a bulk of the participants and expect I may meet others in the future, mostly due to my handy little ROI laptop bag that has already helped me meet one participant in the central bus station of Jerusalem who recognized the bag but had never met me.