Tech Valley Summit: One Great New Idea and One Awful Old One

First the good: The 2007 Summit in Tech Valley will forsake the boring “panel-of-speakers-in-front-of-a-passive-audience-in-a-dull-conference-room” thing and opt instead for a variety of interactive formats at places like MapInfo and RPI. That’s great. Unlike hotel conference centers, these are places where work actually gets done and so are a great place to talk about that work.

But…one feature of the summit, as mentioned in this Albany Business Review piece, calls for

set(ting) aside time for a select group of 15 local CEOs to meet in a private room to network.

The summit should be about openness and inclusivity, not exclusivity. Chances are the members of this “select group” get plenty of face time with one another already. If they want to talk privately, by all means, they should. Private side conversations are one of the biggest reasons to go to an event like this.

But they should be spontaneous and self-selecting, not something pre-arranged by the conference organizers. That sends the wrong message about what the event is – or at least should be – about.

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