Posted by: bluesyemre | March 19, 2015

Are traditional conferences dead? Challenging the conventional event format by Juraj Holub


Last year I had a chance to personally attend dozens of conferences both as a speaker and as an attendee. I watched another dozen events online. Gradually, I started noticing some unflattering patterns and in many cases the following scenario happened:

  • Organizers brought in 150-300 delegates and had them seated in the auditorium room set-up (a row after a row). The agenda consisted of five to eight 60-minute long ‘keynotes’ with a few networking breaks in-between.
  • The sessions’ format was designed for one-way presentations with a very limited if any space for interaction. After the first two talks, participants suffered from ‘death by powerpoint’ and lost whatsoever interest in what was happening on stage.
  • In case it was a 2-day conference, multiply the scenario above by two.

While some predicted the extinction of these traditional conferences years ago, it seems that many event planners are still not willing to fully let them go. However with the rapidly changing social and technological climate, the time for a radical shift is imminent.

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