The Future of Conferences (Tuesday 28 April)

30 March, 2009


Conferences have played a major role in professional development for many of us. However the traditional conference format of presentations has been challenged from a variety of angles. Firstly, there has been a proliferation of “unconferences” – from tech-focused BarCamps, World Cafes to communal Open Space events. Secondly, communication technologies such as online community tools, web conferencing, virtual worlds and microblogs offer new ways of interacting beyond face-to-face. Finally, rising travel costs and declining discretionary spend are impacting the economics of meeting. What does this all mean for the future?

This session will be a mix of short, sharp blast of conference future from our presenters below and then discussion & debate by participants.


Ralph Kerle is Chairman of the Creative Leadership Forum. He is a failed stand-up comedian, an Associate Director of the Sydney Theatre Company and the founder of an events company , Eventures, that over 14 years created and produced major events for Walt Disney, The Royal Melbourne Show, Foxtel & Toyota.

Stephen Lead attends a lot of conferences and seminars – most of which are pretty boring. After one particularly bad technical session he decided to do something about it, and started the first Ignite sessions in Sydney. Stephen believes that conferences of the future will consist of 5 minute presentations, and is willing to show you how.

Alex North has unorganised his way through the co-founding of two Sydney-based startups and into a job as a software engineer at Google. Along the way he’s helped herd cats at the BarCamp Sydney unconference and learned a lot about the power (and fun) of ad-hoc collaboration.

Lucy James is Content Manager with DMG World Media, working on the strategy, speaker faculty and program content for ad:tech, the iMedia Brand Summit and Evanta in Australia. With 5 years experience delivering successful B2B conferences across multiple industries, Lucy is passionate about growing events to their best possible potential.

Jye Smith is Social Media Strategist, Switched On Media. Previously the National Events Manager for AIMIA, held over 45 national events. Likes: digital, social, communities, pretty pictures, music. Dislikes: caffeine abstinence.

John Allsopp is a co-founder of the Web Directions conference series. As a software developer, long standing web development speaker, writer, evangelist and self proclaimed expert, he’s spent the last 15 years working with and developing for the web.

Janine Cahill is an innovation consultant,futurist and founder of Future Journeys which runs foresight events and festivals to engage the public in creating the kind of futures they want. She presents internationally on deepening experiences of the future and designs business simulations and serious games to shift paradigms and to innovate from this new mindset.

Steven Oesterreich developed Loyalty Programmes for Arts organisation such as the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera and Canadian Stage Company. He then moved to Australia to developed Loyalty Programmes that have won awards with ADMA, with our work with Subaru and Flower Power. He now leads a team for Ark Group Australia and Singapore.

Katie Chatfield is Creative Strategist for Jack Morton and for the last 12 years she’s worked in creative strategy: the science and chaos of idea generation and subsequent planning and mapping of experiences that change perceptions, habits and behaviours. She uses technology as a bridge for curiosity, love of conversation and making stuff happen.

Matt Moore will reveal what nude videos from Canada have to do with Twitter.

Jodie Miners started in the construction industry and moved further and further into the IT side of the business. Over a conversation on Twitter with some like minded construction industry professionals in London, Be2Camp was born. Be2Camp is an unconference that focuses on the use of IT in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industries.

Geoffrey Bowers is the CEO and application architect for Daemon Internet Consultants. He is the father of WebDU.

Beth Etling is the CEO of The Insight Exchange.  With over 15 years of corporate, non-profit, and special event management experience, Beth has launched, managed and marketed events successfully in Australia, Singapore and the USA.  She has worked with clients such as Intel, Amdocs, and Polycom and looks to build The Insight Exchange into a globally recognized event company.

WHAT NEXT? If you plan to attend please RSVP before COB Friday April 24 by e-mail to: nswkmforum<at> (hint: replace the <at> with a normal @ to complete the email address and please include the date and/or title of the event in the subject line).

WHERE PricewaterhouseCoopers Darling Park 201 Sussex Street Enter from Druitt Street, go up the escalators and up the hall. Continue through the foyer until you see the PwC security desk through the doors on your left hand side. Please note: You will need to get a security pass from the security desk in the PwC Foyer, then proceed to main reception on Level 10 and tell reception you are here for the NSW KM forum.

WHEN: 5.30pm for 6pm, Tuesday 28 April.

HOW MUCH: Gold coin donation.

3 Responses to “The Future of Conferences (Tuesday 28 April)”

  1. […] The Future of Conferences Location: sydney Link out: Click here Description: This session will be a mix of short, sharp blast of conference future from our […]

  2. […] This was a short presentation that I gave as part of the NSW KM Forum Future of Conferences event (background & presentations). I was talking about […]

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