The ‘BIG’ con­fer­ence trend of 2018

An­drew Klein, pro­fes­sional MC and pre­sen­ta­tion skills speaker and di­rec­tor of SPIKE Pre­sen­ta­tions, presents his front line ob­ser­va­tions on con­fer­ences in a reg­u­lar fea­ture in BEN.

Business Events News - - News -

FOR my fi­nal Con­fes­sion col­umn of the year, I have been look­ing back on my year in con­fer­enc­ing and think­ing about the big trends of 2018.

Last year I chose “Throw­able Mi­cro­phone boxes” as my pick for con­fer­ence trend of 2017 (you know those cube-shaped spongy mikes you throw around a con­fer­ence room from per­son-to-per­son dur­ing Q&A?)

I have been try­ing to think of an equiv­a­lent trend for 2018, some­thing I saw at con­fer­ences that seemed to have ex­ploded on the con­fer­ence scene in the year gone by.

Was it the con­tin­u­ing trend of spon­sors giv­ing out branded mo­bile phone bat­tery charg­ers?

Was it the number of pre­sen­ta­tions about AI, VR and ro­bots dis­rupt­ing the re­spec­tive in­dus­try of that spe­cific con­fer­ence?

Or Google Play boxes or Ama­zon Alexa and all those voice-ac­ti­vated box thingo’s (I’m not very tech­ni­cal, but you know what I mean) as the Ex­hibitor Prize-give­away of 2018?

Then as I walked on stage last month and stood in front of those gi­ant white foam let­ters form­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion acro­nym, it hit me.

Those gi­ant let­ters have been around for many years (TEDx per­haps started the trend?) but for some rea­son in 2018, they were every­where.

Show me an as­so­ci­a­tion with four let­ters (usu­ally start­ing with an A for ‘Aus­tralia’) and end­ing with an A for ‘As­so­ci­a­tion’ and I’ll show you four gi­ant let­ters mid-stage.

Cor­po­rate con­fer­ences have em­braced them too, es­pe­cially ones that theme their con­fer­ence – “CON­NECT” or “IN­SPIRE” or “TECH’18” or “#LEAD” – spelt out in big let­ters (usu­ally white, of­ten il­lu­mi­nated in vivid reds or blues).

The man­u­fac­tur­ers of gi­ant let­ters must be mak­ing a killing. There are re­ally only 26 op­tions to pro­duce and an op­tional hash-tag add-on.

Choose four or five and ar­range them at will!

Get your AV team to light them as you please and your stage looks su­per cool.

Not only that but your del­e­gates will get photos of them­selves with the let­ters and post them on In­sta or Face­book (#attheAGLACon­ven­tion) and your PR is done.

“AGLA” if you’re won­der­ing is the AUS­TRALIAN GI­ANT LET­TER ASSOC. and I have no idea if that ex­ists, but it will soon, judg­ing by how much busi­ness those guys are do­ing.

Hope you’ve all had a BIG #18 and have a great (in gi­ant let­ters) XMAS.

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