excerpt from “five ideas for a better conference experience.”
(2) MAKE THE SPACE YOUR OWN
design the space instead of hosting the conference in an auditorium or theater. approach the floor plan like a production designer or installation artist. consider putting a round stage in the middle, with groupings of seats, like pods, separated by walking space in between to allow for more serendipity and interaction amongst conference goers. if there’s a backdrop or screen, make its surface viewable from all sides, or design a 360 screen. it would be amazing if one could use holograms instead of screens.
(3) BRING IN THE SUPERCONDUCTORS
employ five or six well-connected superconductor-types whose only role is to bring people together. think of them as high-level greeters (and walking information resources) who can help introduce attendees by nudging them beyond the awkward mumblings by the coffee dispenser. ideally, this is the conference’s principal organizer, but, in reality, the organizer is rarely available. therefore, a conference should bring in a couple of ringers. even better if one of the ringers is a conference speaker as well.