This past weekend at the IA Summit (and subsequently on twitter) there was a lot of discussion about what makes the Summit a valuable conference. Many people believe that it’s the great content but I think it’s more than that. Don’t misunderstand me – great content is a necessity, but attendees paying money for any conference need to be satisfied by great content. The real differentiator for the Summit is the engagement in the community (both at the event and on-going afterwards).
At work we’ve recently been using the Kano model to analyze our experiences and the model describes this situation well. The four main categories of the model are: Delighters, Satisfiers, Expected and Inconsequential.
The IA Summit’s content is satisfying – great content makes people feel good, bad content makes them feel bad. The community that attendees are immersed in, however, is delightful – it’s really not something that attendees expect – so there’s no downside if it’s not there, but it’s a wonderful thing when they experience it.
It’s easy to see this from typical tweets:
So by all means – lets make sure we have great content – but every conference organizing committee does that. Lets also make sure that we do everything we can to enable the Summit to be a place that encourages and nurtures the amazing community that already exists.