Presence or Absence

Conference apps are handy.

They allow you to fit an entire program in your pocket and make it possible for you to search for sessions based on type or interest.

They empower you to provide thoughtful feedback after each session.

They tell you something about conference sponsors, exhibitors, and how to follow the host organization online.

They also tell you who is attending the conference.

Interestingly, it is what should be the most information-rich section of a conference app where you’ll find almost nothing to read. This section is often nothing more than a gallery of faceless portraits — a gallery where everyone looks the same.

This section always makes me wonder about why an individual would choose not to develop their profile. They did, after all, invest time, energy, and money into giving themselves a unique professional development opportunity.

Did they not have time to update their profile?

Is this their first experience with a conference app?

Is it a form of hiding?

What would happen if dedicated professionals stepped out from behind the curtain of anonymity?

Tania Marien