Yesterday's announcement that the New Communications Forum 2005 conference in Paris next month has been postponed is a huge disappointment.
After the resounding success of the first Forum in the US in January (some highlights here), everyone involved was looking forward to a similar experience in Europe.
Posted on the Forum blog, the announcement included this statement:
We have discovered that it is just too early in the technology adoption process here in Europe for PR and marketing professionals to invest in a two-day conference dedicated to blogs and other new tools. [...] We firmly intend on holding the Forum once we have judged the market is more ready, hopefully towards the end of this year.
So here's my provocative statement: What an indictment of the lack of interest and willingness to learn about something new by communicators in Europe! And the lack of interest by companies in communication channels that are already impacting their businesses.
Or is it? There are little pockets of excellence here and there, with increasing numbers of communicators who are active in using and evangelizing these new channels (look at the new directory of PR bloggers, for example).
Yet these pockets of excellence represent the converted - what the Forum is about is reaching the unconverted: those communicators who haven't yet experienced these new channels and want to find out how they might benefit them and their businesses. That's what we saw at the US event in January - lots of PR, marketing and other communicators who didn't yet know much about blogs, etc, but wanted to find out more.
Shel and I discussed this in yesterday's edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report podcast, speculating on why such a lack of interest in Europe contributed to the decision to postpone the Paris conference.
We asked our listeners to tell us what they think. Is Europe a 'communications Sahara' for blogs and other new-media channels? Is it simply far to early to even think about putting on a 2-day event in Europe that focuses on all these tools from the communication point of view as opposed to the technology point of view? Is it that communicators just aren't interested?
Tell us what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Have other opinions?
There are many ways you can easily share your thoughts:
- You can email your views to: comments (at) forimmediaterelease (dot) biz
- If you like, you can record your thoughts in an MP3 file and send that - we'll play it on a show
- You can leave comments in the podcast post on my blog, Shel's blog or the podcast blog
- And you can even call the new Comment Line and leave a voice recording
Either way, please don't sit on a fence. Let's get some balanced opinion on what's wrong in Europe!