This diagram is licensed by Deborah Elizabeth Finn under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
The main reason for attending NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference can be illustrated with the Venn diagram shown above. As you can see, the overlap between passionate computer geeks and passionate nonprofit/philanthropic professionals is very small. But the folks in that green zone, it’s somewhat of a tribe, an ethnic group. If you fall into that zone, then you simply need to be at the conference. You need to be with your people.
I will of course be there, although my primary purpose will not be to attend the sessions. My goal is to have as many conversations as possible with people who share my interests. Historically, it happens at NTC in hallways, in lounges, over dinner, and at gatherings that are not listed on the official schedule. In the early years, the most exciting place for conversation was breakfast and lunch – however, to my ongoing sorrow, the conference organizers shifted to the principle that if you gather everyone in the tribe for a meal, the best thing that you can do for them is preclude conversation by bringing in a plenary speaker. I love the NTEN staff very much, but on this point, I think that they are as wrong as they can be. We just have to agree to disagree.
Therefore, I will be at NTC, available for conversations in hallways, in lounges, over dinner, and at unofficial events. If you want to talk, let’s talk. Send me an email, and let me know where and when.