Festival of New MR 2010 Rocked

Inaugural Festival a Huge Success. Greg Coops was the Chair of the Asian Programme of the 2010 event.

The Festival was remarkable which I suppose is not unremarkable given that it came from the unbounded imagination of Ray Poynter from The Future Place. From the initial synapse lighting up in Ray’s brain to a marathon session of 22 hours of speakers presenting live around the world took only 12 weeks. The whole enterprise was run by volunteers who helped shape the content and structure. Tickets were ridiculously cheap courtesy of the generosity of sponsors such as Confirmit, Nipo and AMSRS who came on board on faith as an event like this had never been run to our knowledge.
Breathtakingly simple in concept – an online conference on the future of New MR which was all about co-creation and the free exchange of ideas and information. But scarily rigid in execution. Every speaker had his/her presentation rehearsed and recorded but all presented live. Unlike a “real” conference, everything had to run to the minute. We couldn’t run late or start early as people were logging on and off to see specific speakers.
There were some inevitable glitches, for example, when NZ went off the internet temporally. Our audience was then treated to the organisers discussing what we should do – wait a few minutes, drop the session, return to it later? But the void had to be filled so there were spontaneous interviews conducted and random musings until we could get the speaker back online. With instant feedback from the audience via Twitter so we all knew what they thought of the the open mike chatter (some did, some didn’t – typical findings).
It’s great to have all your friends and colleagues in one room at a traditional research conference but you have to love it when you are sitting in a hotel room in Bangkok with a couple of laptops switching from speakers in Australia, NZ, China, India and then introducing a bloke in his kitchen in London where he’d just made breakfast for his kids. And to think that only 25 years ago we used to run research companies in Asia with only one phone line that worked. Occasionally.
P.S. Our thanks to our generous sponsors, superb speakers and discerning viewers from around the world.
P.P.S. Best in Show presentations were deemed to be Diane Hessan, John Kearon (performing live from his kitchen), Shobha Prasand, Jon Puleston and Erica Rule – Diane taking the Confirmit Best in Show prize. The NIPO Best Video was awarded to Ali Macleod and Tanvi Gupta won the The Future Place Best Poster competition.
Don’t miss the 2011 Festival. This year’s event will be run over three days (Asia Pacific on 31 Oct, Europe/Africa on 1 Nov and the Americas on 2 Nov).
For sponsorship opportunities for the 2011 Festival, please contact Greg (greg.coops@asianstrategies.com)
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