News flash: Industry events dull

"The problem with most conferences is we don't have enough to do," laments seminar veteran Dave Winer, who admits to Web surfing, emailing and instant-messaging during presentations. In Las Vegas today, speaker Mike Arrington from TechCrunch forgot to show up. [Update: Arrington says he never agreed to do the event.] Why bother? Instead of onstage pony shows and awkward demo booths, conference sponsors should just set up an open bar. Invite potential clients to come schmooze with a few paid celebs and Marc Canter (zzz at left). Think David Hornik's The Lobby for the rest of us. But first, make sure the Wi-Fi's rock solid.