This was my sixth Dynamo North East conference. There have only been six and so I have a 100% attendance record. All of them have been good, most of them have been great but this one was exceptional. Why? I have been asking myself that very question.
Firstly, the venue was great. Sunderland University’s campus is ideal for such an event, especially when the sun is shining. It is big enough but small enough to work. Secondly, the speakers and the breakout sessions were great, with too many to mention in this blog. Thirdly, the speaker’s dinner the night before was not to be missed. It was held at Tombola’s new building over the river from the University.
Fourthly, Charlie Charlton, Senior BBC Journalist, BBC Radio Presenter and Producer, was superb in holding it all together. Her passion for the region equaled that of Dynamo’s members and guests. She made it all look so effortless when I know this is not the case.
Putting all those things aside however, possibly one of the biggest reasons that this year’s conference was so good is that the sessions were chosen by the industry. Well prior to the event a call went out for papers and ideas for the event. Over eighty were received and, in the end, the most difficult thing was deciding what to leave out rather than to include.
It was a genius idea (clearly not one of mine then), and allowed for far greater engagement between the speakers and the audience. Indeed in several sessions that speakers never got to the end of their presentations due to the number of questions and comments from the people attending.
Gone are the days when people are happy to just sit and listen to people waxing on about their favourite topic. In the age of social media everyone now expects far greater engagement and #Dynamo19 certainly delivered.
The future of all conferences, just as the future of all work, lies in collaboration and co-creation.