Some call it ‘crashing a conference,’ Chron call is ‘lobbyconning’

Some would call it crashing a conference. I call it ‘strategically positioning us and our clients near the action.” The San Francisco Chronicle calls it ‘lobbyconning.

The practice we’re talking about is going to a conference when you haven’t registered, or paid, and using it as an opportunity to talk to people, companies and the media that are going to be there.

Want to see an example of it at work from the PR side? Go here . The article and the accompanying news story are about a conference on CyberSafety last year in Sacramento. At the end of the story is a mention of IMSafer, we were there with them but they weren’t exhibiting. We had signed up with them too late to make the deadline, so we went anyway and made ourselves available to attending media as a reference.

This tactic is especially helpful when money is tight, you just didn’t make a registration deadline or registration is sold out.

‘Lobbyconners’ crash tech conferences to schmooze, cut deals

Verne Kopytoff, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Some of Silicon Valley’s digerati don’t let $3,600 admission prices keep them from attending technology conferences.

They simply loiter in the venue’s lobby – without paying – in hopes of mingling with other entrepreneurs, collecting business cards and cutting deals.

Who cares about hearing Microsoft’s CEO opine on stage? Schmoozing in the hallways for free is far more valuable, many technology insiders say.

The phenomenon has become so prevalent that it has been given a name: lobbycon.

“A little serendipity can save me money and from getting on a plane,” said Scott Rafer, a serial entrepreneur who acknowledges lobbyconning several conferences over the years. “It can help me get the 100 meetings I need.”

In fact, it was while lobbyconning the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last year that Rafer started talks to sell his company, MyBlogLog, to Yahoo for, by some estimates, more than $10 million. Despite the windfall, Rafer’s strategy is the same for this year’s Web 2.0 Summit, starting Wednesday, where he will be promoting his latest venture, an online advertising company called Lookery.

The rest of the article is here.


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