Bringing a festival mindset to conferences


March 26th, 2014

P3251146 300x132 Bringing a festival mindset to conferencesIt seems that conferences are as popular as ever. Yet many of them are stuck in some kind of conference void, wherever any innovation or creativity is talked about rather than enacted. Why do gamification / improvisation / creativity conferences and events, mostly, not use the principles they espouse for others in their own event design?

As I  sat in a crowded room recently listening to John Hagel  talk for about 45 minutes about the Power of Pull followed by a question and answer session, I pondered what an event designed around pull would look like. It seemed to me that a talk, as good as it might be, followed by Q and A, is a push model.

People are still flocking to conferences, to talks, to celebrity chef presentations, to book readings, to Do Lectures, to The School of Life, and TED talks. We are hungry, but for what? Ideas, engagement, connection, a good old-fashioned chin wag? I suspect we want this, and more.

photo 300x224 Bringing a festival mindset to conferencesThe other growth area is festivals. Opportunities to have a shared experience. White Night festivals, Burning Man, music festivals, Mardi Gras, street parties, comedy festivals, Improv Everywhere and all manner of flash mobs.

You don’t need me to tell you the difference between conferences and festivals.

We want more than ideas – we want adventure, experiences, to challenge and be challenged, and to act on our own ideas, as well as others’.

What would an event that combined the best of both look like?

 

1 Comment so far

  1. Amanda on March 26, 2014 2:35 pm

    Okay I’ll bite :) When you lift the rug on festivals, what are the underlying patterns that make them come alive, that sparks us to come alive in that unique festival-shared experience?

    It would be fun to sort through the Group Works Pattern Deck and pull out the ones that describe the pattern of festivals, and then see how those could be amplified in conference design.

    Hmmmmmm……

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree