OSCON, Drupal and the greener conference circuit

OSCON is nearly done. It has been a great week and a couple of great days at the Drupal booth on the Expo floor. Sometime I hope to get a little more written about the experience. For the moment I'm in the Greening the Conference Circuit sessionhttp://en.oreilly.com/oscon2008/public/schedule/detail/2910 where we're discussing many issues related to encouraging vendors to be more environmentally friendly. It is nice to see how many of the great ideas being discussed were implemented by the Drupal booth.

One of the best ideas relates to reducing the amount of unused, non-recyclable material in the conference bags. The suggestion in the room is that we should spend more time with conference vendors, who like Drupal, didn't produce materials in the bag and aren't handing out things at the booth that will be taken by many folks and used by few. Not having a handout has several positive effects first and foremost there isn't the waste, either in unused materials or in folks who casually pick things up but don't really ever look at it again. On the other hand at the Drupal booth we were often stacked six or eight Drupalers deep each talking to one or more interested people about Drupal. And more than a handout placed quickly in somebody's hand we could direct individuals to the best places to get information for their particular needs.

As with most conferences the really good bits have come in the hallways and in the meeting of great people. The sessions have largely been solid with a few outstanding sessions to punctuate the week.


1 Comment

reducing flights

Greening the conference circuit. Surely the most costly aspect of conferences is the transport people use to get to them. What's needed is to have simultaneous local conferences where people can network, but also share media link-ups.
Don't know how conference organisers would respond to something like that though. It would mean a radical overhaul in their business model. Anything less than radical overhauling, is just greenwash, in my view.