Indaba 2014 & I’m not there

profile-photo-MartinHatchuel1-96x96So there you are, in Durban, and here I am, at home in Knysna, and unable to go to what would have been my (I think) fifteenth Indaba.

I’m really sorry about this: I wanted to be there (only cancelled my hotel booking last weekend), but for reasons I couldn’t control…

Oh well. Never mind. This is the digital age. I’ll watch the important bits from afar.

Or maybe not.

I’ve spent the last half hour on trying to plan my programme for the weekend: I wanted to watch some of the TechTalks on line (Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, eTourism Frontiers, the BBC, Think! Social Media, and others are all on the schedule); I wanted to watch this evening’s inaugural discussion between the continent’s tourism ministers (theme: ‘Africa: Open for Tourism Business’); I would have loved to watch the discussions at today’s annual SMME workshop (theme: ‘Access to finance’); and I’m sure I could have learned a lot by watching the CATHSSETA skills development information sharing workshop.

But it seems none of these events will be live-streamed.

Is the irony of a bunch of social media gurus being on show – but only in real life, and not on line – apparent only to me?

So then I thought I’d spend a while looking for interesting media releases that I might want to publish. I went onto the Indaba site’s ‘My media zone,’ and there I realised, was another irony: I’d had to register for access to the media zone – register to get behind a wall of secrecy so that I could share what the organisers want you to know …

And there, again, I found: Nada. Niks. Nothing. Ayiko. There is no database of media releases from exhibitors. Although you’d think there would be – certainly we’ve always found banks and banks of PRINTED media releases in the Indaba’s physical Media Room. (And don’t even THINK about looking for a gallery of shareable images…)

But let’s not be too hard on the organisers: the world’s enjoying three major tourism trade shows this fortnight:

… And it seems they’re all not doing the same thing. Sure and they’re encouraging everyone to do their work for them: “Please Tweet yourselves hoarse!” they shout. “Feel free to Facebook your wits off!” they yell. “Go on! Instagram yourselves into oblivion!” they implore.

But they’re not making it possible for people to take part in the conversations from a distance – because those of us who aren’t in those hallowed halls in person can’t really hear what’s going on since we’re getting only snap shots, and tweets and stuff.

So I think I’ll just spend my time #grandsonning this weekend. Maybe a spot of sailing. Maybe an afternoon nap or two, too.

Comments? Please go here and have your say.

Now go away on holiday. It’s in the economy’s best interest
With best Barefoot Wishes – M

MARTIN HATCHUEL, Barefoot Writer

Specialist writer for the tourism industry
Social media & advertising
Media management
Responsible tourism
Cell +27(0)84 951 0574
Fax +27(0)86 614 8853
Skype: reefgod
63 Wilson Street, Knysna 6570

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