I am not very inspired by the typical technical presentation. Despite my best intentions, I usually start drifting mentally after 30-40 minutes of being talked at. I find I get more satisfaction, and I typically learn a lot more, by diving into actual tasks related to the subject at hand.
During the recent discussions on attending conferences, I have found myself interested but not really inspired. Then, I happened upon this “Unconferencing” podcast.
These are conference ideas I can get into! I would love to see more conferences which enlist the intelligence and knowledge of all the participants, rather than focusing on just the presenters. I especially like the idea of a “keynote listener” or “keynote facilitator” rather than a keynote speaker. I have had one experience of an “unconference” so far: an OpenSpace demo in Calgary. I found it very inspiring and plan to get more involved with OpenSpace in the near future.
On a related note, I am planning to attend the Toronto BarCamp. Check back in two weeks or so for a synopsis of the weekend.