E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 7 – Conversations as The Future of Conferences

Yes, indeed, we are baaaaack! That is right, folks! We are back again at it! Here we go with another podcasting episode from The Sweettt Show, Living on the Bountiful Net that my good friend, and fellow co-host, just shared over at The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 7 – Conversations as The Future of Conferences. And we back into the action! Here is a short excerpt from what Matt wrote in that blog post that I am sure that you would be able to relate to quite a bit, specially if you get to travel, quite often, to various different conference events all over the place, and not just restrictive to a single geography or country, for instance. So here is the text:

"In this episode, we really point out all the things that are wrong about the modern conference and presentation format. In our conclusion of our August 15th discussion, we contrast this old guard presentation style with a more refreshing approach in which the audience is a key contributor to the event. When people gather together within conferences, this is a knowledge sharing event, designed to maximize the sharing of insights and perspectives."

At first sight you may be pondering that what we are actually doing is talking about the "barcamp" concept. No, we are not talking about such concept. In fact, we are talking about how we feel regular conferences would need to do to move into the 21st century. Have a listen to the whole episode and you will see what we mean…

Matt already shared his show notes from this particular episode and you would be able to read them all over here. Now, it is my turn to give it a show and share with you folks what I got out of that episode and what I learn while recording it with Matt. Yes, we do get to learn a thing or two, as well! And even better when those new ah-ha moments kick in live, right there, right then, and you have got that sense of accomplishment very difficult to surpass heh 🙂 (Yes, you can tell I am loving the show quite a bit thus far, eh?). Here we go!:

– Still musing on the superb presentation that Carl Frappaolo did on Knowledge Management 2.0 and how disruptive it was from the traditional breakout sessions you get to attend on a regular basis. Hang in there, we are not talking about barcamp events …
– I still think about it along the very same lines: "Main tent / Keynote sessions are a waste of time from a knowledge sharing point of view."
– With the huge amount of events on Enterprise 2.0 flourishing out there nowadays, we need to look for new models of delivering the message. Traditional events need to move into the 21st century and become much more engaging than what they are now!
– People at conference events appreciate quite a bit not being talked at… (Too true!)
Two way conversations rule at conferences, why neglect them? What would it take to change the model of delivery. Webcast format(s) are just that, for the Web, not in front of real audiences, real people!
– One of the best keynote speaker sessions I have been to this year from the various events I attended, and which I thoroughly enjoyed for the innovative approach, was that one of Harriet Pearson, Chief Privacy Officer at IBM, at IBM’s Web 2.0 Summit, who got started with her session by asking whether the audience had any questions, way before she started talking on the topic of privacy!
– Now, that‘s the way to engage with an audience as a keynote speaker and grab their attention from the very first moment! Oh, and check out Harriet’s Facebook profile to see what she is up to (It will surprise you!)
– Will upcoming conference events be up to the challenge? Will you be up to the challenge? heh
– Moving on … ahhh, the obsession of slides for every single conversation. Wonder what the world was like before slide decks took over?!?
– "Without your slides are you naked?"
– Wish people would start giving up on slides. For good. They are just a tool, NOT your message!
[Check out Matt’s show notes on this section… Couldn’t have put it in much better words than those! W00t!]
Dave Snowden gets a mention for being on of those rare folks who doesn’t use slides and gets away with it! Powerful! Wish more folks would follow his example …
Lou Gerstner gets a mention as well as being on of those folks who doesn’t use slides either!
[Too funny that in the course of about a month from now I will eventually be meeting up face to face both of them! — Stay tuned for more updates coming up on that! :-D]
– Musing on how BIG people feel when they know they have got a bunch of slides behind them is probably as good as it gets on what needs fixing!
– We will probably cover this topic at another time, since there is so much more to talk about! But let’s move on …
– Brainstorming on the best way of engaging with the audience from The Sweettt Show. We have got the blogs where some folks have been commenting so far, but what would you want to use to engage with our tertulia and be part of the show! Share your insights with us! More than happy to accommodate … Remember, this is our – your tertulia!
We will figure it out at some point, I am sure …
– Introducing the podcast at the end of the recorded episode?!?! My goodness! What’s going on with these guys?!?! Are they crazy? (Probably!)

And that would be it, folks, for this our 7th episode of The Sweettt Show on Conversations as The Future of Conferences. We hope you enjoyed it and get ready for the next one, because it is just around the corner! And it promises to be just as entertaining … we hope …

Oh, dear, I won’t let you go just yet … I nearly forgot to include as well in this blog post the Wordle (Thanks, Jonathan!) from this episode, so here you have it:

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  1. It is actually quite refreshing to attend an event where the audience is as much participating in the event, and enjoying themselves, as the people up there on the podium … one thing which needs to be addressed, though, is means to make sure the conversation doesnt go into streams which are divergent from the main topic. While at times this is nice, because it does lead to some refreshing thinking at times, but at others, can be a drag! 🙁

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