Up until the past month, I was planning on attending the Orange 2011 conference. Then the timing belt went out on our car! In getting that replaced, we found out that we needed to get the A/C compressor replaced… Lucky us! So… to make a long story short, we’ve had to put money aside for the past month or so to pay for the costly repair meaning my Orange flight fund was depleted. While I am sad not being able to reconnect with friends and meet new ones, I have chosen to be a conference stalker!
A couple of years ago, there were a number of conferences all happening close to each other. Since I couldn’t attend any of them, I tried my hand at following along online. I discovered that I was able to keep up with most of what was going on at most of them. In fact, with one of the conferences, some people on Twitter thought I was at the conference because of all the interacting I was doing… I even helped connected two people who were looking for tickets to that conference with ppl who had extra tickets! It was fun, but I have to admit that I didn’t get much work done those couple of days…
So, how do you become a conference stalker? I will share my secrets in this post that are specifically applied to the Orange 2011 conference.
Take advantage of online resources provided by the conference
- For the past couple of years, Orange has streamed the opening session from the conference, and this year is no different. You can watch this year’s opening session live at MakingOfOrange.com. It starts at 7:15 p.m. EST.
- On Thursday and Friday there will be live interviews on MakingOfOrange.com with people like Sue Miller, Jim Wideman, Doug Fields, Craig Jutila, Tom Shefchunas, Carey Nieuwhof, and many more! You can check out the schedule at MakingOfOrange.com. Remember that the times posted are EST.
- You can even download the Orange Leaders app for iPhone or Android and take a look at all the interactions and schedules and other goodies in the Orange Conference section. It’ll either depress you because you aren’t there, or you’ll feel like you are there.
Read the bloggers who are at the conference
Here is the list of official bloggers who will be chronicling the conference in their own ways:
There will be other bloggers at the conference as well. (If you are attending the conference and plan on blogging about it, leave a comment. I’ll add you to the list below.)
You can even set up a folder for the blogs on your favorite newsreader. See the video below to see how to do it with Google Reader:
I think Twitter is one of the best ways to experience the conference as it happens. It’s like being able to be a virtual fly on the wall of the conference. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, it’s easy to set one up. Go to Twitter.com and follow the directions to get your very own account.) The only thing about following a conference via Twitter is that you are dependent on the attendees tweeting what is going on and using a common hashtag. (I may have lost some of you already… don’t worry. Check out this post for a quick post about Twitter.) Luckily for us at home, many of the attendees at Orange are adept Tweeters. One advantage you have over the attendees is that you can sit for hours on end watching the Twitter feed for the official Orange Conference hashtag, which is #Orange11. If you do that, though, be prepared to get not work done.
Here’s a video on how to set up Twitter online to keep track of the #Orange11 hashtag:
Here’s a video on how to set up TweetDeck (may favorite Twitter client) to keep track of the #Orange11 hashtag: