Attendee-Centered Conference Design
Subject:   Good points
Date:   2002-03-22 08:56:18
From:   kwerb
I'm always surprised how seldom conference organizers think through the dynamics of session organization, even though the factors you mention have a huge impact on the experience of the conference. For PC Forum, we try hard to structure the panels to maximize interaction... which sometimes means clashing with speakers who are dead-set on launching into their stock marketing speech. Still, no one is perfect in anticipating what will be best for the audience. As you point out, the nature of the event is key. For example, could the people attending easily be on the panel, or are they there to hear words of wisdom from the "experts?" The former situation -- which I think SXSW and PC Forum both fall into, despite being very different in other respects -- is more challenging, but can be more rewarding if done well.