Imaginative Conference Ideas

Two ideas ::

  1. Have everyone BRING a goody bag that they have put together - showcasing what they do / their organisation or just with some treats (this is instead of you, the organiser, putting one together).

  2. Get a load of branded (or not) rubber rugby balls (I’m UK based, so think American Football if required) - you should be able to get these from a decent marketing materials provider, hand them out at the end and simply send your delegates away with the thought / question - “What are you going to pass on from what we have shared today?”

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Did all the speakers deliver in that format. I’m wondering if it’s crazy to have a few different formats in one day!

Hi, Louise - no they didn’t we had a keynote followed by workshops, then the afternoon kicked off with 1 hour of Pecha Kutcha (7 of us presented!) It takes a bit of work, but we submitted our presentations, the tech team made sure the slides were set to time correctly (20 seconds per slide, 20 slides each - so, 6 minutes 40 seconds each, the slides automatically change - so you have to be “on it” with your commentary) . . . It mixed the day up and - despite the same format for 7 people in a row - it was fascinating to see the different ways people had interpreted the brief. Well worth doing :smile:

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Love both of those ideas Ali - getting people to contribute from the off and think about what they’re taking away. The goody bags could be part of how people introduce themselves to the group providing each individual with props/talking points which may help them feel more confident in a room full of strangers. #TopTip

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I’m in the process of planning a two-day conference which will include a variety of formats

Ignite Session/Pecha Kucha/Lightning Talks style talks
Fishbowls & jigsaw session
Soapbox
Silent Disco
Walk and talk
as well as the usual plenary and ‘knowledge sharing’ sessions!

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Sounds fascinating. I generally work on exhibitions but feel I’m missing out now I’ve read your post!

I’m curious, what are fishbowls and jigsaw sessions?

I’m looking for conference inspiration so reviving this conversation. What’s the best conference that you have ever been to, and who organised it?

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Great question @muonabena - thanks for reviving! Perhaps some of our @Conferences members can share some inspiration with you.

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WIRED 2016 (organised by WIRED) - the content (speaker lineup) was fantastic

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Did you see this? Some good ideas for shaking up the format:

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An accountancy conference invited a farmer to speak at their event about lone working and being part of a family business.

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At IMEX Frankfurt this month they are having the woman who heads up Germany’s space programme give an inspirational talk to women in events about ‘reaching for the stars’ :grin:

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Loving that! :star_struck:

You might find this interesting. It’s a video of an interview I did with Davie Philip, a community activist, event organiser and facilitator based in Ireland. He uses some innovative formats and processes in his events, unconference being just one… https://blog.lineup.ninja/using-the-art-of-hosting-in-event-design-an-interview-with-davie-philip-of-cultivate-ie-a5309e22a1d1

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Thanks for sharing Joe.

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@JoeA your post in the thread about networking ideas is also great for conferences in general:

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Yes, our @Conferences members should definitely check it out.

I was interested to read about the approach taken by the organisers of the IACC Americas Connect conference, who put a ban on PowerPoint presentations with slides that included more than one-word.

The mission for the event, which took place in Canada last month, was to turn the stereotypical conference on its head and “create an environment where delegates could think differently”.

The keynote speaker for the event was Pablos Holman, former computer hacker turned inventor, who delivered a session that encouraged attendees to be the disruptors of the events industry and find solutions to some of the industry’s biggest problems.

Who else thinks banning wordy presentations is a good ideas?

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