Meetings industry redefines ‘the conference’ by throwing out the rule book

Conferencing tends to conjure up images of passive audiences obediently watching a presenter on stage. That model of communication is in for a shake-up as Meetings & Events Australia

throws out the rulebook for its national conference titled Open Your Mind, in Sydney.

The old ‘lecture’ model of conferences was born in a time when authoritative information was scarce, now it’s everywhere. With the proliferation of virtual meeting alternatives, the important question arises, how can conferences evolve to stay relevant to the exchange of ideas and remain a crucial component of the way we do business?

MEA 2012 will tackle this question head-on by breaking the mould in harnessing the power of the audience, to get them out of their comfort zone and embrace new experiences. Delegates will experience an amateur talent quest with live performances and a crowd-sourced creativity challenge where mass-group brain storming will occur. Leading-edge techniques will be in play such as unconferencing, where the audience are promoted to participant and asked to interact by facilitators (not speakers) – drawing on their own experience and directing the content of the session.

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