Project Zone 2013 Congress – Looking Back

After attending the Project Zone Congress 2013, organized by stamford global and supported by PMI Frankfurt Chapter in Frankfurt March 18th and 19th it’s time for a short feedback summary and resume.
 
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Positive:
  • great venue and hotel as done a fantastic job
  • website, organization, speaker treatment etc. very professional
  • Event itself, video recording, interviews, facilitation of panel discussion etc. was very well done.
  • most of all, great international speakers which is unique and which I havent seen so far in a german or even international project management congresses through out Europe (keep that up and hand pick the speakers and masterclasses)
  • Tables – very important if you sketch note and would like to write something or use your computer to reflect and document (see www.torstenkoerting.com)
  • Great masterclasses with great speakers and facilitators. Worth going.
  • Value for money
Negative
  • walking distance between main location and the master class and leadership stream
  • no feedback on each talk, would be great to have that as a speaker for yourself as well as a comparison to the average score
  • marketing could be enhanced as throughout the community the congress was not mentioned well enough (at least in Germany)
Impulse: Try to use different presentations formats

1) TED/TEDx format: 18 minutes maximum, thats it. If you sit in the wrong talk, you know thats its finished after 18 min max. In the usual format it will take you 45 minutes. 

Extract:
Format: A suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder — and to provoke conversations that matter. (The typical presentation should be an 18-minute talk by a single presenter. No talk should exceed 18 minutes. No panels. No break-out sessions. Usually: No podium.) You may not pay your speakers to present.
see the full rules here:
http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/493#sponsors

2) Use the pmcamp style: No presentation is scheduled upfront. Speakers can pitch their idea and will be selected. And people could go to their talks they are inspired by and that they have a passion for. With this concept you will or might identify topics that from a research perspective might be far more relevant for the audience than the ones choosen by you as an organizer or by a selection panel / group.
 
1) and 2) doesnt mean that the full conference has to work like this. But for example they could have a stream the TEDx style for an afternoon or so with 6 short and crisp presentation that could be presented in the TEDx style:
PMcamp style could mean to have a seperate stream dedicated to these kind of topics and that could result in a workshop character.
 
Bottom Line
A great conferences that complement the existing formats in a great way that could differentiate by applying new attractive and successful formats.
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Torsten J. Koerting

Torsten J. Koerting is a project management-, paragliding- and Outdoor Enthusiast, Consultant, Author of several books and engaged as a speaker at many conferences. As Managing Partner at projectyzer he is specialised in supporting companies and organisations in reinventing their strategy as well as turning projects around that are in trouble. He worked in Europe, US and Australia for more than 20 years for global Blue Chips. He does hold the German and Australian Citizenship and lives with his wife and two kids between Europe and Australia. He is also a certified Bank Clerk, Executive Bachelor and Project Management Professional (PMI) and used to be Board Member of the PMI Queensland Chapter (Australia).

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