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So what's a Conversational Conference?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 20 February 2013



So what's a Conversational Conference?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 152
Posted DateWednesday 20 February 2013 09:19 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

It's so good to see that KM Australia is adopting the conversational style of conference that I have been advocating for the last few years. This is the third year in which they have done so since I chaired the conference to this format for the first time in 2011. This is how they describe the event on the conference website.
What is a conversational event?

This congress will follow an interactive conversational format. Each speaker will present a case study for 25 minutes and conclude their presentation with a question to the audience.

The remaining 15-20 minutes of each session will be given to the audience to discuss the speakers talk and the question at their tables before going into a traditional Q&A.

This conversational format is intended to create an informal, relaxed atmosphere in which you, the conference participants, can get to know each other, learn from each other and build relationships.

The Ark Group have been running other conferences to this format for the past couple of years such as KM UK and KM Legal Europe.

Karuna Ramanathan and I also chaired KM Asia in Singapore to this format last year. And this year both KM UK and the relaunched KM Europe will be chaired in this manner.

For many traditional conference organisers, barcamps, unconferences and open space sessions are a step too far. These formats feel risky.

But making time for conversation as part of each presentation carries very little risk. Its a great first step to more open, participatory conferences.

If you have anything to do with organising conferences could I suggest you try this format. I am writing some documentation on how to run them. Get in touch and I will send you a copy when complete.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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