Can’t wait until late January! That was my first thought while sipping my morning cafe-latte in Amsterdam and avidly reading the latest issue of Monocle Magazine (issue 39. volume 04, December 10/January 11) and I came across the announcement of their upcoming Guide to a Better Conference (to be included in the February 2011 issue). Monocle –created by Tyler Brûlé— defines itself as “a briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design” is probably one of the best magazines out there and one of the few you would choose to experience in paper rather than in a [non existent] iPad app.
Monocle has challenged the market and the naysayers since its launch in early 2007 by putting out a crisp print and strongly binded superb journalistic, photographic, classy and trend-spotting (yes, japanophile too) product which has in the last years expanded to novel retail experiences and now a seasonal newspaper (Mediterraneo in the summer and the new Alpino this coming winter). The Guide to a Better Conference promises to “name the best events, the best speakers and deliver a keynote manifesto on how to get people talking”, because they believe “that well-planned conferences have the ability to change minds and boost your business”.
Some of the issues the guide will be talking about are:
- Why are the seats always so uncomfortable at conventions?
- Why do organizers think that a pile of sponsor gifts will improve your day?
- How come hotels always use the darkest corner of the establishments for conventions. What’s this obsession with basement spaces?
- Why is convention catering so bad? Who wants a three course meal at 12 noon?
- What’s with all the bad language? “Break out” sessions never sound very appealing
- Speakers are good, but speakers who trigger good questions are even better. So why do some people never get told to keep quiet?
I’m sure that the high-quality eye of Monocle’s editors will unveil some interesting mechanisms to redesign and relaunch the conference experience… something much needed in times when there are more events than ever taking place (alas, most of them mediocre).
Also, Brûlé has often hinted in his last-page “Observations” about a possible Monocle Summit in the works (hey Mr Brûlé, are you looking for a conference wizard?) – can’t wait for that either!