What is the purpose of a conference?

October 26, 2015

“The best part of the conference are the breaks. I put up with all of the other stuff so as I can catch up with friends, and meet new people, during the breaks.” I’ve heard variations of this over the years. I’ve even said it myself, though these days I’m less likely to spend the […]

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Bringing a festival mindset to conferences

March 26, 2014

It 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? […]

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But what would you do instead?

February 19, 2014

That hoary (yes, I like to use archaic words sometimes, it sets the scene for the post I’m writing) old saying (and yes, I know hoary and old mean the same thing and so this is a tautology – it’s about emphasis) , “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is often used as an […]

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Don’t lecture me!

November 19, 2013

This is worth watching again – and again, and every single time you think that standing up in front of a group of people and talking at them will ‘educate’ them about something . It won’t. It never did. It never will. Visit Donald Clark’s website for lots more to back up his arguments. What […]

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Are we finally letting go of content overload?

November 7, 2013

Warning: a bit ranty, but ultimately hopeful Doesn’t really matter how you wrap it up, we’ve been content junkies – we’ll say process and design are important, we’ll acknowledge the value of relationships, we’ll nod when someone says we need more conversations – and immediately do the opposite. We’ll sit people in rows, we’ll get […]

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Perspective and the echo chamber

September 28, 2012

There was a moment last week at the Applied Improvisation Network Conference where I felt particularly despondent. We’d been listening to people talk about what they are doing in taking improvisation skills and practices out of the theatre and into the world. We’d heard of using improv to treat post-traumatic stress in war veterans, in […]

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Collecting insights

September 26, 2012

There was a lot happening at the Applied Improvisation Network Conference in San Francisco. As well as the pre-planned sessions, and the open space offerings, the one-on-one and small group conversations, and the serendipitous moments, there was the Twitter and Facebook back channel, photos being posted on Flickr, videos being made, drawings made, and people […]

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There’s more to an event than logistics and registrations

July 23, 2012

Designing, organising, structuring, promoting, facilitating, and hosting a conference has provided me with a few insights that I’d like to share – just in case you find yourself in a similar situation. Here’s a few random thoughts. Venue There are so many considerations around a venue – location, facilitates, cost, public transport, parking, helpful staff, […]

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Capturing the essence of improv

July 22, 2012

This is a fantastic summary of highlights and insights from AIN Downunder: Thriving In Uncertainty from April Seymore.

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Why do you go to conferences?

June 10, 2012

What does the word ‘conference’ conjure in your mind? The man sitting next to me on the couch is a scientist, so his view of conferences and mine vary enormously. As a facilitator, I get to attend many different types of events, and experience the different ways in which people interact. I also attend events […]

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