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Tuesday / October 17.

The Latest Event Industry Insights

Can Conference Experiences be Designed? Yes, you bet!

Being a design practitioner for over 10 years, I have attended hundreds of different conferences for various reasons; learning new stuff, knowledge sharing, build relationships, catch up with friends etc — just like most professionals out there. A thought suddenly popped up in my mind four years (2011) ago.

“Why do I started to feel indifferent about attending these events and the experiences are kind of similar; uninspiring, impersonal and unfulfilling?”

Since then, I have started a journey to answer a question “Can a conference experience be curated in a way that makes audience feels fun, inspiring and personal again?”. The best way I can conceive is to step into the shoes as a conference organiser by conducting experiments to validate hypotheses, and explore ideas from a audience-centric perspective.

Conference setup in UXSG Conference 2013 at The Star Performing Art Centre
Conference setup in UXSG Conference 2013 at The Star Performing Art Centre

After running two successful sold-out user experience conferences in year 2013 and 2014 with a group of like-minded volunteers, we have learnt a great deal on some of the mistakes made and identify areas that needs further improvement. While at the same time, we genuinely believe a new way of curating conference experiences has been created — a conference experiences that people loves, that matters to their professional lives, and create impact beyond the event.

One of UXSG speakers, Joel Pennington sharing insights on creating special effects for the movie, Avatar 2
One of UXSG speakers, Joel Pennington sharing insights on creating special effects for the movie, Avatar 2
Beautifully illustrations by our graphic artist to capture the essence of keynote presentations
Beautifully illustrations by our graphic artist to capture the essence of keynote presentations

In this upcoming presentation at GEVME Xchange 2016 event, I would like to take the opportunity to share our journey on creating conference experiences that matters to your audiences.

Some of the learnings include:

  • How to find out what matters to your audience?
  • How design principles can help to guide decision-making process?
  • How to build a community that creates love for your product (conference)?
  • How to develop meaningful relationships with your audience, speakers, volunteers, partners and sponsors?
  • And more importantly, staying true to what you believe is the right thing to do for your audience
Student volunteers contributing to the growth of professional community
Student volunteers contributing to the growth of professional community
Serving (probably) the best coffee in conferences
Serving (probably) the best coffee in conferences

I look forward in meeting you at the event!

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