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This article was published on April 16, 2010

We want you on stage during The Next Web 2010!

We want you on stage during The Next Web 2010!
Patrick de Laive
Story by

Patrick de Laive

CPO and co-founder, TNW

Patrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is Patrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is a frequently asked speaker at (tech) events across the globe. Check his LinkedIn profile and @Patrick on Twitter for more information.

Last year we experimented with a new way of interacting with our audience at The Next Web Conference. We invited 6 of our attendees on stage for a Pecha Kucha style presentation and people loved it.

Over the last four years we’ve experimented with several ways to create more ways for the audience to participate. The obvious way, a Q&A session, isn’t completely satisfying. The Q&A period is either too short or too boring. Many people have trouble with getting up in front of a large audience and others ask a question that is very interesting to them but not to the rest of the room. It is very hard to ask intelligent questions that are of interest to the majority of the audience.

Our solution to this particular problem is to keep the Q&A’s very short, get an expert panel to ask questions and ask our speakers to stay around to answer questions of attendees in person during the rest of the day. The vibe at The Next Web Conference allows people to walk up to anybody and start a conversation or ask a question, speakers included.

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Of course there are digital back channels, which is a great way to create more audience participation. But it is also disturbing, often abused for commercial purposes and can be awkward for speakers if the back channel is behind him/her and someone makes a joke. We decided to have a back channel, but to show it only when it is appropriate during a discussion and not in the middle of a well prepared presentation.

So that is why we want our attendees to be prepared, to come up with inspiring (and well prepared) stories. We are aware of the fact that our audience is smart, successful and willing to share great ideas and stories.

People come to the conference to meet other people, do business, to share best practices, stories and contacts with one another and we stimulate them to do just that. That is where the real value is for the attendees.

There are many cool thoughts and inspiring ideas amongst our attendees, therefore we’re opening up the stage again and this time with even more slots. We have eight Pecha Kucha slots to fill with content of attendees. A Pecha Kucha presentation is a pre-formatted presentation with 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide.

The presentations are restricted to certain rules. Its purpose is to inspire other attendees and therefore you’re not allowed to talk about your company or commercial content. In short the rules are as follows:

– No company pitches (not even on your slides)
– It has to be a generic topic about the future of the web or mobile
– The goal is to inspire people and to generate food for thought
– You have to have a ticket for The Next Web Conference
– We want to see your presentation before the conference
– We hand pick which 8 people will give a Pecha Kucha presentation

4 days before the conference we’ll announce the Pecha Kucha speakers.

Are you up for it…? Add your idea for a presentation (make sure you already are registered for the conference)