Tim Bourquin, founder and president of TNC New Media, Laguna Niguel, Calif., is using blog technology to give readers a front-row seat at the birth of a trade show. His blog, Tradeshow Startup (www.tradeshowstartup.com/) chronicles his efforts to launch the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, to be held in Southern California next fall.

He's writing the blog for two reasons: “One is to have a record of just how hard it is to do. The second is to be helpful to others who are launching events. We all share similar struggles and challenges, and I'll be talking about what I'm doing, the things I run into that surprise me.” He adds that, when his company grows larger, “I'll have the marketing department blog about how they're trying to reach attendees and exhibitors, and the meeting planners blogging about doing hotel contracts.”

His main concern isn't so much that attendees will find out about the inner workings of his show, but that if a major sponsor turns him down, should he mention that on his blog? “You know how it is,” he says. “The other big companies will say, ‘Well, if they're not going, we're not going.’” He hopes that is a bridge he won't have to cross.

Bourquin also plans to use the blog and other technology to enable attendees to chat with other people in their sessions and view their profiles. “ The idea of getting the conversations going long before the event and long after the event is good for sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees. And it's good for the show organizer because it keeps your event in people's minds.”

For more on blogging, turn to page 52.