I've been working with Ismael Ghalimi, Oliver Starr, and Brian Solis on developing a Mobility and Productivity track for the upcoming Office 2.0 Conference. We're still in the early planning stages in terms of content for that track but Ismael made a bombshell announcement yesterday that is tremendously exciting. Every paid attendee (as well as speakers and sponsors) will receive an iPhone as part of their registration!
At last year's event, attendees were handed an iPod Nano loaded with conference information. This raises the bar to unprecedented levels and represents a real coup on the part of the conference as it will create the largest concentration of iPhones in a single location ever in San Francisco on September 6 and 7. Of ourse simply handing out iPhones isn't particularly innovative, although the logistics for pulling this off are interesting and well detailed in Ismael's blog post. No... what's really compelling is how the iPhones will be used at the event:
Handing iPhone devices out to all attendees is nice in and by itself, but it gets really interesting if we can match them with the right set of applications. For this purpose, we are working with Etelos, our Diamond Sponsor, and are developing applications to support what some people might eventually call Conference 2.0. When you will meet someone at the conference, instead of handing out a business card, you will just locate her name on the conference’s directory, then click a ‘Send Contact Information’ button. On the Demo Area, you will use a similar interface to share your contact information with exhibitors. And during presentations, you will be able to give real-time feedback and ask questions to the moderator directly from your iPhone.
Very cool indeed.
These will be 4GB units. Attendees can opt to upgrade to an 8GB model and additional information on how this will all work is on the IT|Redux blog. We'll all be posting on the Office 2.0 Conference blog to provide additional details on the Mobility and Productivity track content as we get sessions and presenters lined up. As a sneak peek, I will say that I've been working on assembling a panel of representatives from the major players in the RIA space to discuss the intersection of Office 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications which I think will be a most engaging conversation. I promise no vendor pitches will be allowed – this will be an "unpanel" discussion in that sense and more of a roundtable discussion by thought leaders and active participants in the space.
Update: Brain has some excellent thoughts about the implications of this announcement on his PR 2.0 blog.