The overall organisation, venue, wifi, hotels, food, entertainment etc. was superb. My two “Social Media For All” sessions were well attended and received some lovely feedback.
As for the content of the conference itself, well the programme promised more than it delivered I’m afraid.
Speaking to the many delegates there seemed a consensus of opinion on the lack of energy and dynamism from the session speakers plus an over-emphasis on traditional media models/practices. The last summit in Africa also had hundreds of young people (compared to about 30/40 at this one).
So for what it’s worth here’s my five top tips/suggestions for the organisers of the next World Summit in Bali, 2013 :
decide between youth participation or a youth presence : it’s hard to create legitimate youth participation at such a professional-focussed event, therefore, making the decision either way is better than trying to serve two masters (remember, a teachers conference is not less due to no student involvement but separating the young participants from the main event is not participation). The youth who were involved were fantastic though and I was lucky enough to help them out with their website, Global Youth Media Council, check it out plus their final presentation to the conference
fold social media into the event : like streaming the sessions (using Ustream or CoverItLive, update the Facebook page or Twitter presence regularly to offer insights and ongoing commentary, create a Twitter list of people attending the conference (like I did), go public with the hashtag more than a week before the event (reread the tweets from the #wskarlstad2010), upload the presentations to SlideShare etc
book speakers on their talent not titles : my major gripe with most conferences this one. It’s a constant juggle for organisers to land high-profile speakers and ensuring the audience will not be treated to a head-down-read-from-the-script session (maybe introduce the Pecha Kucha style format into some of the sessions)
multi-media it up : mix in every medium going to reflect the current media landscape; TV, film, radio, print, web, social media, gaming, geo-location, music, crowd sourcing/funding, performances, open source, mobile, unconferences etc.
book me as a main stage speaker : cheeky I know but valid nonetheless. Seriously, if you want someone to offer energy, fun and insightful discourse on the current mediascape then I guarantee I’ll deliver (or your money back)!
All of the above given with respect, no expectation and a smile.
Thanks again to this years conference organisers for the opportunity to participate—it was great!
Here’s some stuff I created from the conference :
Upon reflection, a better question would’ve been ‘what have you learned at the summit?’ and to ask that it at the end.
My bit also got featured in the conference newsletter (which was produced everyday reporting on the previous days sessions) :
Related post : 6th World Summit Part One