UK – ‘Who Stole My Audience?’ shows the innovative way into conferences
The Who Stole My Audience conference gathered 50 meeting professionals over two days in Bounce, the home of ping pong in London. As any event requires a concept, Gallus Events integrated the ping pong theme into the event networking as participants struck balls across the ping pong net. They introduced gamification which sat perfectly in an environment designed for play.
The sessions were highly interactive, focusing on meeting design and the attendees designed a new meeting format: Next Step Dominoes. The idea: one person says 2 things he/she wants to discuss or get help about; for each topic, someone on each side comes to discuss the topic; and the line continues like in a domino game. Issues are discussed on-site but also serve as a basis for post-event contacts.
“Having a conference is a bar that was the actual location where ping pong was invented is kind of cool” says William Thompson from Gallus Events. “So with this in mind we wanted to keep the content bouncing along! We wanted to have some short sessions that challenged the idea that we needed 30 min to cover one topic. I also wanted to have sessions that would challenge the attendees creativity, help them realise that they can be creative!” .
The first day was about how to support creativity, focusing on behavioral change. Understanding how and why people react to change is central to any changes we want in our meetings. So the conference tried to be as practical as possible throughout but on the second day we got stuck into meeting design formats, creative marketing and sales and spent some time on gamification.
Technology? Surprisingly little: “We decided to do it as low tech as possible. We had white boards, crayons, coloured pens and stickers. We wanted to tap in to those old memories of being a kid at school and to see if we could tap that creativity. It really worked. We are huge advocates of event technology but its use has to be strategic”.