Organisers of maritime conferences have been sent a stern message today to buck up and make their events more relevant and worth people’s time. In an ongoing survey carried on this site 45% of the more than 500 voters to date say they have never been to a shipping conference that proved to be a fantastic use of their time.
The question, one of eight posed in our quarterly MarPoll, was sparked following plenty of reader reaction to a contribution from last month penned by Marcus Magee, managing director of new agency Uncommon Conferences, in which he demanded a shake-up to the current staid shipping calendar.
“Conferences these days have no end goal. There is no assistance in getting people to actually connect with one another in order to solve any problems or goals. They’re a pony show for the sponsor to show off and boast about themselves and to give very flat awards to people who have lined the pockets of organisers. It really has turned into a waste of time,” one reader commented.
Another Splash reader had some suggestions for how to fix the current conference malaise.
“It’s not a difficult fix,” the voter argued. “No speeches, all panels. Maximum of three/four panellists. Questions that haven’t been pre-screened or chosen, and a moderator who’s not afraid to challenge the panellists. Auto-mute a speaker’s microphone after 30 seconds to prevent tedious soliloquies. Vetting of speakers to ensure they know their subject, and can speak coherently without notes. A strong preference for people without ‘Sales’ or ‘Business Development’ in their title. Have a greater diversity of speakers (generation, nationality, gender, sector, viewpoint etc.)”
Results of the latest MarPoll will be published in the next issue of Maritime CEO magazine, due out early next month.
Other topics covered in our latest survey include the availability of ship finance and the best secondhand ship investment.
To vote takes as little as two minutes and there is no registration. To vote, click here.