At an upcoming conference, yet to be announced formally, I volunteered in an editorial committee meeting to be the power strip coordinator. What does that mean? Every conference needs one in the future, so you'd better read closely.
The power strip coordinator is the guy or gal who spreads the word to attendees and speakers ahead of time to bring power strips or contribute to a small power strip fund. In the interest of group dynamics, it's clear that no event organizer will ever have enough power strips to keep the laptops humming. Ernie the Attorney made himself very popular at PopTech last month with a power strip and a long extension cord.
The social experiment I'll be trying and documenting at this upcoming event in the spring is to either solicit a "sponsor" (a company that'll kick in, say, 20 power strips) or raise a few bucks via PayPal for a power strip kitty. I'll bring strips, painting them yellow or pink or getting some kind of distinctive marker on them, including a little statement describing the public goal of the strips.
The key for me will be severalfold: 1. Will these strips all disappear? 2. Will they resurface at future events? 3. Will they spawn likeminded strips? I'm thinking of registering a simple domain name like share-the-power.com, and then putting up links and photos if people start using this idea at future events. Maybe photos of the strips in exotic locales.
I tend to believe a combination of bulkiness, generosity, and group behavior will lead to very little loss over time, even if strips disappear from one event and appear at another. We'll see if my best or worst instincts are confirmed! One strategy might be to ask for power strip volunteers willing to see the strip through the event but with no accountability attached.
I'm very interesting in whether number 3 above would work. Can I seed strips into events and made this a "movement" of sorts that runs parallel to anything the conference organizers might be up to.