The Panelization of Media and Tech: Fanfare, Fame…Fatigue?

Putting the confab-glutted market under a microscope

Another day, another panel. Or at least that’s how it started to feel this spring, when it was conference galore for New York’s technorati. In between breakfast summits sponsored by Google and cocktail receptions hosted by Facebook, they were rushing off to panels on all manner of tech topics. Privacy and marketing. The future of apps. Location, location, location. The meetings industry might have taken a hit with the recession, but if the rise of media and tech conferences across the country is any indication, it’s making a healthy return. In California, snow sports enthusiasts host a "Snowcial." In Atlanta, social-media-savvy pet lovers plan to gather for BarkWorld. There’s even a conference called Sex::Tech (for sexual health, new media and youth). But while the crush of confabs may create no shortage of tweet-worthy comments and keynote superstars, by the time peak panel season winds down, even the most eager conferee is ready for a break. If you can stand it, take a look at a few panel-specific data points and personalities below.