I posted last night on my marketing blog about how I feel marketeers will need to deal with the conference overlap situation. As I’ve watched the news unfold, the following is clear:
- DEMO’s schedule was announced first, so Shipley is pointing the finger at Arrington/Calacanis
- TC50’s announcement triggered the onslaught of conversation, which led to Arrington claiming that DEMO should die.
- Shipley has responded, questioning professionalism and more
- Arrington and Calacanis both respond pointing fingers back at Shipley
Prediction one: it will get worse from here from both organizing groups
Prediction two: people will take sides, which will further antagonize the situation
Here’s the ultimate reality: It doesn’t matter whose “fault” this is, and there’s no point in trying to determine who was trying to screw the other one over. This is a LOSE-LOSE proposition. NOBODY benefits. Startup entrepreneurs will not get nearly the impact from attending EITHER conference this way. Bloggers, press, and media will not get to see half the companies they’d like to see. The first week of September will be just noise, no signal.
My recommendation is the groups GET ON THE PHONE with each other, and find a solution. I doubt this will happen, as it’s probably too late to deal with the financial consequences, and there’s probably so much bad blood already that nobody will get off their perches.
In some industries competition is a very good and healthy thing. PCs are probably going to get better because of the recent success of the Mac. This is good. When it comes to conferences that have similar offerings to a limited marketplace, this type of competition is plainly unhealthy.
Chris, Mike, Jason – you are intelligent, respected thought leaders in our community. Please go take the steps needed to help the industry make smart decisions about what to do this September.