Too often, conference presentations and panels are focused on narrowly defined topics which culminate in simple questions and answers. We feel that this format does not allow for ideas to grow and develop within the session. To better foster the sharing of not just information, but ideas, we want to build a conference format that is conversational. Thus, facilitating warm discussion amongst people with different perspectives, creating a larger discussion within archaeological theory and praxis.
We plan to have two panels on the day. The themes are broad in hopes that our participants can bring more to the table than would a narrowly defined topic. We want our panellists to have a say in the topics they discuss within the theme.
Following each panel, we will have a short “Round Down” discussion where we will loosely summarise the panel. At the end of the day we will do a “Wind Up” discussion where we talk about what’s been learned and what is next.
We will also have an accompanying Live Document for the audience to take a more active role, including them as participants rather than just an audience. Each panel will have its own live document which will serve as a digital whiteboard, allowing the audience to take an active part in the discussion rather than a passive role. The audience can then be part of the conference and contribute in a unique and meaningful way. The finished live documents will become one of the key outcomes of the event.
Google Jamboard worked well for us at the 2021 conference, but we are also always exploring for better, more accessible options.