ShipInsight’s annual conference has set a standard in its first two years with a format that panellist and delegates say is engaging and informative.
There are no boring speeches, no ‘death by PowerPoint’ and no wasted time. Instead, the conference delivers surprising revelations, inspired insights, thoughtful analysis and a few laughs.
Content was also praised. “It was a fresh look at the issues of the day, with a firm eye on the future of the industry filled with lively debate and interesting speakers,” one attendee said, and another liked the “great content with a lot of audience engagement.”
ShipInsight’s technical editor Paul Gunton has moderated our first two events. He has chaired a number of conferences and debates in his 40-year career as a reporter on shipping developments but he particularly enjoys the level of interaction at our events.
It makes for an unpredictable event, because the format allows him to let a line of questioning reach conclusions and discover details that may not have been revealed in a conventional setting. But this can make it a bumpy ride, both for me at podium and the panellists alongside me, not knowing which direction the discussion will go next.
For attendees, this opportunity to raise questions that go both to the core of a speaker’s expertise and to the potential for their work to influence other areas of technology is attractive. It has often provided real revelations about how the industry’s leading thinkers approach their decision-making.
This is made possible by making good use of an online discussion tool, Slido, which enables immediate and – if delegates wish – anonymous questions to be asked and points to be raised at any time during a discussion. Too often at conferences, the first question after a presentation or at the end of a session relates to something said in the final few minutes, because that is what is fresh in its hearers’ memories. That then sets the theme for the rest of the discussion period, leaving earlier and equally important topics unexplored.
It was a fresh look at the issues of the day, with a firm eye on the future of the industry filled with lively debate and interesting speakers.
This does not happen at a ShipInsight event. Because comments can be quickly tapped into the Slido app, the moderator can pick up important points from across the discussion and can change its direction to cover as much ground as possible.
That approach could easily be mistaken for a talking-shop, in which discussion and debate take place for the sake of it, with no focus beyond the broad themes set out in the event’s session headings and no usable outcomes. But delegates to ShipInsight’s events know this is not the case, because they bring their own agendas.
To add further focus to the event, it is divided into two days, each covering a different aspect of the main theme, with each day bookable separately and a discount if both are booked. All attendees can attend the conference reception, making that a particularly busy event for making new contacts.
Not a sales presentation in sight and a great format for audience interaction.
These booking options add value for delegates with specific interests and responsibilities and those who wish to combine other business appointments with their attendance.