No one expects that every conference attendee will have the same needs as every other participant and contribute an equal amount to the event. Each of us has a unique set of interests, knowledge, and skills. And there will be people present who have much to offer, and those who, for whatever reason, add little to the available pool of relevant knowledge and experience.
This raises five questions:
- What are the best ways to use conference time to respond to a variety of attendee knowledge and experience?
- How can we discover the topics that have energy for attendees?
- What experience and expertise exist for exploring these topics?
- What processes provide the best way to match uncovered needs with available conference resources?
- How can we effectively support the resulting conference sessions?
If you agree with me that these five fundamental questions about conference design are important, have you answered them to your satisfaction for your events?