Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NTEN Conference, love it

OK, So I am all registered for the NTEN conference and cant wait to attend. And a visit to New Orleans, oh the fun that will be had. There are parts of my first visit to New Orleans that I dont remember and others I remember a little too well. Anyway....

I have been going to NTEN NTC for years and always get something new and different out of it. I have been a huge Holly Ross fan and cant wait to see what happens now that she is the head honcho. All nonprofits should make an effort to be represented there.

My favorite things about the NTC:
  1. The NTC is THE PLACE to learn from your peers, see what is happening in the NPO world of tech. My NPO is at times limited in its experimentation with tech. This conference is laid out perfectly to force NPO staff, NPTech Consultants and vendors to share and challenge each other.
  2. There is no better event to meet the who's who in the NPTech community. I am a huge fan of the NTEN staff, NPower, Idealware and TechSoup! I cant get enough of hanging out with this crew and listening to them present. Plus the talents of Beth Kanter, Michell Murain, Michael Stein, John Kenyon, and too many others to mention.
  3. Awesome blend of communications, leadership, tech and other topics that show the full picture of how to get it done.
  4. Mission meets tech - you wont find another place where you can feel the passion for mission, advocacy and making a real difference and the tech brains and power to do it!
Yet at the same time, I have my questions and reservations:

  1. Have you ever compared a corporate technology conference agenda to the NTC agenda? They are vastly different and should be, but are we missing a certain level of certification, professional, techy or something. (Gartner, Forrester) I have a few colleagues that dismiss the NTC quickly because they go to other events in order to keep their credentials and maybe we arent shooting to get those people to attend. So are we pushing NPOs to start the trendy and fun parts of tech, but forget about network stability, security, standards, better tech support, etc. I personally prefer NTEN but...
  2. Preaching to the choir? By having a separate conference that focuses on technology are we pulling away from the other staff at our NPOs? I love the leadership series webcasts from NTEN, that is a great idea. And I know NTEN has been pushing for more and different NPO leadership and staff to attend. But one theme is that tech needs leadership support to be successful, but are we really hitting that audience or just talking to ourselves?
  3. Where are the big name nonprofits? Why arent there more of the larger nonprofits involved and sharing with everyone? Does someone come from the Red Cross, Wildlife Foundation, Gates Foundation, etc.
  4. Are the sessions to diverse to really serve one purpose? Does it make sense to try to cover soo many things? I like the variety, but it makes it hard to get deep into one thing and to focus.
Anyway, just my ramblings. I would love to know what you all think.

I love NTEN and Holly and the rest of the team. I look forward to the NTC every year. I would love to meet all of you there, if you only knew who I am.

65 comments:

Holly said...

Hello 1cent (are you a less tough version of 50 Cent? :p) -

Thanks for the kudos and for the thoughts. Just so you know, Red Cross, NWF, American Lung, American Cancer, Mercy Core, and most of the big guys are at the show. You can actually see who's registered by clicking on the link on this page: http://nten.org/ntc-agenda.

And yeah - let's get more Executive Directors there. How DO we do that? It's been a real quest of ours. We're slowly chipping away at it, but I'm impatient for more!

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