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Q: Innovative Conferences: A list of creatively-run conferences (and how?) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Innovative Conferences: A list of creatively-run conferences (and how?)
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: conference_question-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 26 Nov 2005 12:45 PST
Expires: 26 Dec 2005 12:45 PST
Question ID: 597822
I want to build a list of conferences that were run in unusual ways,
around the world. I'm most interested in HOW people RAN the
conference, not the topic. Did the organizers have everyone experience
something unusual? Bring in unique speakers? Use a creative venue?
Cover the costs in a weird way?

(So not...Tattoo conferences, magician conferences, etc.) 

As noted above, I'm curious about how other conference organizers have
run their events in unusual, successful ways.

An example: The annual TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment,
Design) brings together 1000+ people to hear dozens of speakers from
across industries. Each speaker only gets 20 minutes to speak,
regardless of their stature, forcing them to share their best material

To answer, please include:
1. At least three (3) examples not listed above.
2. What makes each unique, and why was it successful?
3. A URL to the event.

Subject: Re: Innovative Conferences: A list of creatively-run conferences (and how?)
Answered By: czh-ga on 26 Nov 2005 18:14 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello conference_question-ga,

Three conferences immediately came to mind: DEMO, the Davos Conference
from the World Economic Forum and eg (The Entertainment Gathering)
produced by Richard Saul Wurman, the originator of the TED
conferences. I could not stop there and included several other
conferences that might be of interest to you. The distinguishing
characteristics of all of them are that they bring together an
eclectic collection of leaders from a variety of fields to mingle and
create new initiatives for the future. Some are product oriented while
others aim at exploring new technologies and how these technologies
are transforming society and what it means to be human.

I?ve included the URL and some descriptive information for all of the
conferences. Some of them were held in late 2005 and the 2006
conference information is not available yet. I knew of some of the
conferences by reputation. I searched for additional ones by looking
for speaking engagements by presenters who frequently appear at such

I trust that the information I?ve found will be helpful. Please don?t
hesitate to ask for clarification if anything I?ve posted is

Wishing you well.

~ czh ~

DEMO ? The premier launchpad for emerging technologies

The DEMO conferences stated in 1987 and have established a reputation
as the place to prevue emerging technologies. Palm, Java,, E-Trade and TiVo are just a sample of the technologies
that launched at DEMO. The producers select 70 presenters from around
the world through a rigorous screening process. All presenters get 6
minutes to present their product and attendees can test the products
in the demonstration pavilions. The conference draws leading
technology figures and venture capitalists.

Archives of past DEMO shows are available on the website including
videos of the 2005 DEMOfall presentations.

DEMO ? eWeek Special Report

The annual Demo conferences give venture capitalists, industry execs
and distributors a chance to see forthcoming products and services
destined for business and consumers. Recent hot topics include
security, mobile computing and Weblogging.

Six Minutes to Stand Out  
Demo Conference 2005 - Arizona

List of Good General Coverage for DEMO
List of News and Blog posts for DEMO

About the World Economic Forum: Entrepreneurship in the global public interest

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization
committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in
partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva,
Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit;
it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests. The Forum
is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Government.

The World Economic Forum
Annual Meeting 2006
Mastering our Future

The Annual Meeting brings together leaders from business, government,
international institutions, non-governmental organizations,
universities and other significant communities. Our aim is to assist
participants in moving the Global Agenda forward in a positive and
constructive fashion.

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based foundation whose
Annual Meeting of chief executives of the world's richest
corporations, some national political leaders (presidents, prime
ministers and others), and selected intellectuals and journalists,
about 2000 people in all, is usually held in Davos, Switzerland.

Q&A: World Economic Forum 2005 
Every year at the end of January, top politicians from around the
world will descend on the Swiss mountain resort of Davos to mingle
with the bosses of the world's leading companies at the "annual
meeting" of the World Economic Forum - but what draws them all in?

Davos - Porto Alegre 2005
The two faces of globalisation
Two global gatherings are this week addressing many of the challenges
facing our planet - from globalisation to economic and social

The world's political and business elite are in the Swiss mountain
resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum summit, while
non-governmental organisations and anti-globalisation activists are
attending the World Social Forum in the Brazilian city of Porto

swissinfo reports on the key meetings and decisions at both events,
and takes a look at what's going on on the sidelines of the forums.

eg ? The Entertainment Gathering
Making Information Entertaining & Entertainment Informative
1/2/3 February 2006

This is a conference produced by Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of
the TED conferences. It?s his first conference since his non-compete
agreement with Chris Anderson, the current producer of the TED
conferences has expired. The schedule looks creative and is filled
with high-profile presenters.

Diverse talents at TED 
900 are expected at 20th conference in Monterey

TED marks its 20th anniversary this year. Although it's no longer run
by Richard Saul Wurman, the eclectic impresario who founded it, it
still promises to assemble an array of big thinkers from business, the
arts and science for an intense four days of brainstorming big ideas
and networking.

Meanwhile, Wurman, his predecessor, is ready to get back into the
conference game now that the three-year noncompetition clause has

Next February he will sponsor The Entertainment Gathering, a Los
Angeles celebration of the wonders of American media.

GBN -- Global Business Network, Inc.

The Global Business Network is a leader in the use of scenarios for
developing strategies for dealing with issues confronting companies,
organization, nations and the world. They hold training sessions,
meetings and conferences and consult on the use of the technique.

Foresight Nanotech Institute
Events & Lectures

The six Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges are the framework for our
work. This work is accomplished by providing balanced, accurate and
timely information to help society understand and prepare for
nanotechnology through public policy activities, publications,
guidelines, networking events, tutorials, conferences, roadmaps, and

We work closely with governments, multi-national organizations, NGOs
(non-governmental organizations), environmental groups, the policy
community, professional associations, and civic sector organizations
to achieve our goal of broad based nanotechnology education and public
policy improvement.

Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on the Cutting Edge
October 22-27, 2005
San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel.
(2006 not scheduled yet)

Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23
The Foresight Vision Weekend is THE place where ideas generated today
lead to future realities tomorrow. This annual event offers a rare
opportunity to hear world-class speakers discuss the future of
nanotechnology candidly and off-the-record. Opening with a reception
on Saturday night, the brainstorming continues all day Sunday. Bring
your own version of nanotechnology's future and join this mixture of
executives, engineers, researchers, investors, writers, artists, and
futurists. Attendance is exclusive to Foresight participating members.
We encourage individuals interested in how nanotechnology will change
the world to become a member and share their voice.

Accelerating Change 2005

What is Accelerating Change? We are the premiere conference exploring
the opportunities and challenges of accelerating technological change.
Our conference exists to network and inform the most broad minded,
future-aware, practical and passionate change agents, both presenters
and participants. Each year we collectively consider the staggering
changes occurring on our increasingly intelligent planet.

Each fall at Stanford University, Accelerating Change brings together
an intimate, open-minded, and passionate group of world-class speakers
and attendees to discuss today's most important trends in the science,
technology, business, and social development of accelerating change.
Think Emerging Technologies (O'Reilly, MIT) but with a bigger picture,
longer-term, strategic scope.

Speakers present a mix of analysis, forecasting, and action items,
with multidisciplinary inquiry and a synthesis of technical,
entrepreneurial, and social development dialogs. Accelerating Change
meta-themes: How do we use technology to rapidly and humanely improve
our world? Where does the world need to be changed, and what do we
need to protect in the process?

Acceleration Studies Foundation

Our Mission:

1. To promote a multidisciplinary and critical understanding of the
present and expected future of accelerating processes of technological
change, in service to greater professional competency and better
economic, political, social and personal development.

2. To improve the way individuals and organizations predict, manage,
and create the future by advancing the fields of Acceleration Studies,
Development Studies, Futures Studies, Technology Roadmapping, and

3. To help individuals, communities, business, and society to realize
a future of 'exponential promise'.

Innovation Lab

Innovation Lab is an international wunderkammer of technology trends,
an encounter with the potential of the new?and the as-yet fantastic.
Sited in IT City Katrinebjerg, the newest Danish hub for IT research
and development, Innovation Lab has local access to a global network
of cutting-edge researchers, businesses, and visionaries. Through a
wide and varied range of activities and media, Lab Agents work to
translate the latest technological developments into hands-on
experiences and meaningful scenarios. Innovation Lab interprets the
meaning of technology?and makes technology meaningful for all of us.

LabTV is Innovation Labs newest media. This Friday November 25th we
air for the first time - starting with free live coverage of this
years biggest future festival:
 LabTV live stream from NEXT
Free LabTV live stream from NEXT
Experience the NEXT conference/exhibit live on the internet Friday
November 25th from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm (local time GMT+1) as LabTV

NEXT2005 is as much an exhibition as a conference. When visiting the
exhibition please note that the exhibits are usually manned by the
inventors themselves, so fire all questions at will.

We expand the list of excibitors and prototypes on a daily basis.
Check the list regularly to keep up with the latest on this year's

Innovation Lab is a non profit demo lab for new technology, associated
to the Alexandra Institute in Denmark. Innovation Lab does events and
high level briefings for industry and initiate research and
development projects between academia and industry.

Request for Answer Clarification by conference_question-ga on 26 Nov 2005 20:07 PST

Thanks for the quick and well-organized response. 

You definitely found interesting conferences. A clarification - in
your research were you able to document the unique ways the conference
organizers ran the conference? (A quick quote from my original
question: "I'm most interested in HOW people RAN the conference, not
the topic.") The 6-minute format at DEMO is interesting - did you note
any other "format of the conference" ideas?

 - conference_question-ga

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 26 Nov 2005 23:07 PST
Hello conference_question-ga,

Thank you for the clarification request. I?m sorry that I didn?t spell
out my reasons for selecting each of the conferences I recommended. I
assumed that the unusual format elements were self-evident. Here are
the format highlights that seemed to fit your requirements.

All the best.

~ czh ~


Demo Conference
Selective screening process. 6 minute presentations by all chosen
presenters. Opportunity to interact with attendees from all sectors of
making a product real from inventors to investors, technology experts,
industry pundits and potential end users and customers.

Davos Symposium
Annual meeting themes developed by experts. 20% of participants are
media representatives but media coverage is limited to ?plenary and
selected sessions? to encourage free exchange of ideas. Open Forum
debates are open to the public. High level political and industry
leaders are participants.

The Entertainment Gathering
This is a conference produced by Richard Saul Wurman. Although the web
site does not give detailed information about how the conference will
be run, based on Wurman?s track record, especially with the TED
conferences, and the list of presenters, it seems to be a conference
that will have an unusual format juxtaposing entertainers and
information technology experts.

Global Business Network (GBN)
Training and instruction are an important element in the programs
presented by GBN. In addition to training on how to use scenarios, the
programs include Learning Journeys which are field trips for
conference and meeting participants that take them visits to companies
and organizations that are involved with the issues that are the
subject of the conference.

Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology
Foresight Vision Weekend provides the opportunity for conference
participants to spend time with political and industry leaders in open
and informal discussions and debates regarding issues in this emerging

Accelerating Change
Tech Night at Accelerating Change provides the opportunity for
conference participants to meet with the creators of a variety of
cutting edge technologies.

NEXT2005 and Innovation Lab
The NEXT conference is available as a webcast.
conference_question-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Well reasoned, well written and insightful. Also very responsive to
follow up request for clarification.

There are no comments at this time.

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