Always say DAI - conference WiFi

Just yesterday (I'm on US Mountain Time, even if my blog isn't) I was speaking In Zurich at the first SOMESSO conference . I really enjoyed it, and I'll say more about the content another time. It was a great event in a quality venue ( Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute ), with classy food, top class audio visual resources, in stylish surroundings, but guess what? - the conference WiFI service failed several times during the show. Now as you know, I've blogged about this topic before and Zoli , Ben Kepes and others have picked up on the subject. Now Ben has suggested the Decent Access Initiative . I'm almost going all Networky (pun very definitely intended) and saying " I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more! "

We have to demand decent WiFi access from our technology conferences. I realize it's not easy. I realize it's not cheap. I realize that often it's provided by the venue or the hotel and you have to haggle a service level with them. Maybe the problem is that these places cater for generic conferences, and don't realize the extra strain on bandwidth that a bunch of twitter happy, live blogging, video streaming tech conference goers will put on your network infrastructure. But I know it can be done well - I've seen it at Ismael's Office 2.0 Conference . You lose so much value without WiFi. Every conference now has an unofficial Twitter back channel, as well as live blogging, and occasionally live streaming video. I "attended" a London Social Media Camp recently, via Joanne Jacobs Apple Mac webcam - it was awesome to be able to dip in for some of the sessions in between family commitments. I got some great insights from following the Web 2,0 Expo in Berlin a week or so ago. So when WiFi works it provides great feedback for the conference organizers, adds value, content and new conversations for the attendees, and broadens the reach of the conference, allowing people to watch or get a flavour of the show from afar. When it doesn't - it sucks.

So, please join us in the Decent Access Initiative , and always say DAI to our conference organizers.

Update: I completely forgot to mention that my friend Luis Saurez picked up on the topic too in one of his 3 excellent posts on the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin (sorry Luis!). I know he's planning to post on the topic again - he gets just as angry as me about it.