The Next Best Thing to Being There

In the acutely competitive world of high-tech, staying in the black is all about staying in the know. And staying in the know is all about attending conferences. Or maybe not: Conferenza ( offers summaries of most big-time (and many not-so-big-time) high-tech events. So you can stay up-to-date — and still stay in the office and get some work done.

Want to know if you should have attended that big biotech confab? Need to find out what you missed at the latest forum on wireless? Conferenza offers “event intelligence” on scores of recent gatherings. Each entry includes a review by a conference attendee, along with ratings based on “content,” “context,” “logistics,” and “schmooze.”

Want to attend an event after all? The site’s “Event Navigator” displays a scrolling list of upcoming conferences. Just click on a listing, and you’ll find an event overview, plus information on cost, location, and nearby airport.

The only disappointment? A feature called “Tell Connie your rumours” seemed promising. But I couldn’t find the place where rumors are actually posted. Hey, Connie, share the wealth!

Cathy Olofson ( contributes regularly to Fast Company.FCS