[ASC-list] What makes a conference un-missable?

Toss Gascoigne director at tossgascoigne.com.au
Tue Mar 29 04:27:37 UTC 2011

Hi all

Some members of the PCST committee met in Florence last week, to plan  
the next PCST conference (Florence, April 2012.)

We had a good discussion on what makes a conference unmissable, and  
there's a list is below.  Anyone like to add anything?

1.     From a participant’s point of view, a paper that is accepted
2.     From an intellectual perspective it is about learning new  
things, participating in discussions which are contributing to the  
field eg new practice, new breakthrough, genuine outcome that has  
relevance to other places.
3.     Good conferences attract speakers doing relevant and innovative  
research, practice or teaching.
4.     To be significant – it should set directions in science  
communication and take a position.
5.     Newer entrants into the PCST field want workshops to boost  
their skills, where more experienced people want to stretch to meet  
new ideas.  Good conferences cater for different interests.
6.     The quality of the content, particularly outstanding invited  
plenary speakers.  Plenary speakers need to be managed so they  
appreciate the context and focus their talk.
7.     Community-building and networking, including with students.
8.     Being able to meet the mentors, real experts in the field,  
including ‘book club’ sessions where authors discuss their writings
9.     Papers that are coherent to the topics, in a program which  
links related topics and stimulates discussion
10.  A mixture of formats: discussions, plenaries, workshops,  
practical advice, debates, and poster sessions that really work.
11.  Good conferences leave a trace and extend the conference  
experience.  They lead to other activities eg collaborations on books  
or events; and have a significant effect on the host country.
12.  The crowd, the conversations, the consequences
13.  Fun
1     Essential is good organisation: efficient processing of  
abstracts, early advice on the program so propospective registrants  
can judge whether it is relevant, an informative website, smooth  
registration and welcoming functions, excellent venue, reasonable  
registration fees.  Chairs should be trained so sessions run  

Anything to add, anyone?
(I've sent this to Rod Lamberts and the group planning the next ASC  
conference, also scheduled for 2012.)
Toss Gascoigne

Toss Gascoigne
PCST Network

Join the PCST network at:

E.  director at tossgascoigne.com.au
P.  +61 408 704 442
W.  tossgascoigne.com.au

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