Here is the slidedeck from my presentation to EventSolutions 2010 on Catalyst Conferences: How To Plan and Produce Next-Generation Conferences And Events.
People today are learning in new ways that are both collective and egalitarian. They contribute to Wikipedia, comment on blogs, teach themselves programming and figure out work-arounds to online video games. They follow links embedded in articles to build a deeper understanding. They discuss issues in online chats in an interactive and immediate exchange of ideas. All of these acts are collaborative and democratic, and all occur amid a worldwide community of voices.
So how does this affect the traditional conference or event? What about the typical one to many presentations with a sage on the stage and a passive listening audience?
Conference organizers should capture and apply these new social and informal ways of learning or risk seeing their conference education become obsolete. Today’s learning is interactive without walls. Conference organizers can view themselves as conduits for their attendees’ education endeavors and help facilitate participatory, interactive and connected learning environments.