Sunday, September 21, 2008

How was it for you?

I’ve been reflecting on the AMSRS conference I attended in Melbourne last week; wondering why I was so underwhelmed.

Three things that bugged me and then I’ll shut up and move on in my life.

1. Eeew…mould!

I wasn’t the only one to notice the irony. The conference was titled Breaking The Mould, yet conference presenters were made to conform to a prescribed, very dull and downright ugly, PowerPoint presentation theme. A bit control-freak and yesterday I think: were the organisers afraid we’d forget which conference we were at?

2. Presentations

I really felt short changed here. On the whole, there were far too many squirm-in-your-seat, bum-numbingly dull presentations. In effect, not much to say about the content: perhaps it was brilliant, but I switched off.

There were some exceptions; the Pecha Kucha session was great. Laurent Flores, David Tunnicliffe and Dianne Gardener all gave wonderful, engaging presentations too.*

3. Brand flogging

I won’t name names, but in some of the sessions there was a disproportionate level of sell in relation to useful or interesting content. I reckon that if you’ve got something interesting to say, people will seek and/or forgive the branding. If you don’t, it just sounds hollow.

Ok. Moving on now. But I’d be very interested to hear what other attendees thought…

* Because the presentations were streamed, I didn’t get a chance to see them all, so apologies if you presented a cracking presentation but don’t get a mention here. 


Laurent Flores said...

Thanks Katie for you nice comments... and indeed for me it was a great experience as well...

see below some of my take out here:

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