Why Have a Tablet

Note to event operators: if you want people to share what is going on with your event you should at pick a venue that has public WiFi.

This past weekend I was able to attend TEDxCharlotte for the second time in as many years. Last year was such a great experience I could not wait to go again. As far as the event itself was concerned, I was not disappointed. Participating in a drum circle led by DrumStrong.org with the entire audience was something to behold. However, the venue itself had a huge problem.

When I purchased my tablet this past summer I envisioned going to a TEDx type event or conference without carrying a heavy laptop. I proudly stuffed my Acer Iconia A500 into my small sling pack along with the Bluetooth keyboard (don't ask why, I don't even know). As I walked into the auditorium at Queen's University I ignored those with iPads looking down their noses at me who dared to bring an Android tablet to a TEDx. I quickly unpacked my tablet after finding a seat and turned it on. When I tried to connect to the WiFi I saw the university's WiFi was locked down. That was okay, I have been to plenty of events where WiFi was locked down but participants were given the access code. I scoured the program looking for the access code and no luck. Then I went to Twitter and using the event hash tag asked about the access code. No luck their either. Many were asking the same question I did. Glumly, I turned off my tablet and returned it to my sling pack where it stayed all day. I was forced to use my phone to do my TEDxCharlotte sharing for the rest of the day. There was one consolation. Even those carrying iPads had that same look of why am I carrying this thing too.

Again, in today's interconnected world, why would some hold any kind of event without providing WiFi access? I am certain the team will receive a black eye over this oversight. This will be too bad because it really was a great event to share. Especially, an event that charged $20 to attend.