.I will admit that this will probably my first and last GRPC and allow me to explain why: To have this great line up of speakers and only assign 10-15 minutes per person is a crime. I like the fact I got to meet other bloggers and readers of my blog, but I went there for the information and that limited amount of time forces the speaker to do a “tweet” version of what could be a great exposition. I could have gone all day if it was just John Lott, Eric Friday Jon Gutmacher and Mark O’Mara on the stage about Florida’s Self Defense and Stand Your Ground laws plus a Q&A after they were done. I know it is a limited focus that might not interest everybody but then again many non-Floridians watched with all the attention they could muster for that hour.
The Second Amendment Foundation are top at what they do but are about 10 years behind schedule regarding new media, their website itself is a good example. The conference format as it stands now is obsolete and expensive to maintain. I did not mind the meet-and-greet with fellow activists, but the point is to spread the word to many people as possible more than any cocktail party. To put it mildly, they are still on AOL Free Trial Period.
Don’t get me wrong, a conference where you can get the best and brightest together is a darn good thing, but I felt shortchanged as I expected more time with each speaker. I generally went the smart way picking and choosing which speakers I wanted to hear. I can’t stand still for too long in crowded situations, specially if the subject matter is not something I care about. I understand that what’s going on in the UN is important, but it just does not catch my interest as much as a discussion about Carry & Self Defense laws.
I’d think that a mixed format that includes new media would be a great solution. Keep the conference but have panels on subjects that people can go to and spend more than 15 minutes listening to a speaker. You will also have to reduce the number of speakers to give them time or run panels parallel to each other while letting people decide which one they want to attend. The mixture of a live & present audience with the ones attending from home will be the best of both worlds in my opinion.
Most importantly, use the power of the internet to spread the message. One word: Webinar. Imagine how many extra people could the SAF reach if the conference was available at the click of a mouse. And few people would mind paying for it, I sure as heck wouldn’t mind. My expenses for the trip (I drove) were close to $350 and I wouldn’t mind paying $100-$125 if I could listen and interact with the speakers from the comfort of my home for 2 days.
SAF admitted during the conference that they were behind on social media and the internet. More than behind, I’d call it being blissfully unaware as some (many) gun bloggers are commenting about something that happened during the conference. SAF mustn’t be afraid to ask for help from the new generation, the experts on the cyber battlefields. Besides it will leave the old heads with the time to concentrate on more legal battles and prepare the next generation of Second Amendment barristers.
“Evolve or Die”
Carved note found near a fossil of a dinosaur.