[ISDC2006] General thoughts on ISDC from Robin Snelson

George T. Whitesides gtwhitesides at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 20 00:34:36 EST 2005

I am re-forwarding this email to the ISDC list as  I think it serves as a good catalyst for further creative  thinking.  Talk to you all soon!

Robin Snelson <robin.snelson at gmail.com> wrote:  To all :

Some thoughts after the planning meeting at TPS Oct. 19, for your  

On the theme/title -- something inclusive that suggests ownership of  
the cause --
space for all,
welcome to space,
give me space,
space for us,
people for space,
rally for space,
3 Days in Space,
springtime for space, er make that Spring Into Space,
Enter Space
-- words of two syllables or less, one of them being "space," open to  
the broadest interpretation, all points of view and approaches  
welcome and celebrated, no philosophies or religions favored or  
excluded, don't bother trying to agree on what you will push, just  
put up the tent and let everybody in.  (Within reason ... although,  
it might even be fun to let the Moon Hoax guys in.  A gathering like  
this might convince them to give it up!)

Promotion styled like a show or concert, a little bit Hollywood

National Space Society and The Planetary Society
In concert with:  long, long list of sponsors and participating  
Starring -- session chairs, big names
Featuring -- session presenters, panelists
With special appearances by -- plenary speakers
Surprise announcements, mystery guests, space activism of every  
flavor under the sun -- find your place in the new space race
Exhibits, interactive displays, meet the rocket scientists and space  
You will be entertained, enlightened, inspired and charged up for  
action --

other  --

Conferences with many tracks can be frustrating when you feel that  
you must miss more than you hit.  Also, it causes people to session- 
hop, which can be disruptive.

Would it be possible to webcast sessions live as they happen and  
immediately archive?  See the ACES conference archive at  http:// 
www.alliancespace.net/  for inspiration.   This is an example of  
outreach and communication at a high level, so much more accessible  
than the overpriced and slightly amateur DVDs sometimes sold at  
conferences.  Also suggest getting speaker release forms for all  
taped events, just to be legal, and to insure that sales (if any) of  
footage will benefit sponsoring organizations rather than a private  
for-profit company.

Umbrella panels with short presentations are a lively format, and a  
way to include more people and ideas: Speakers give abstracts,  
teasers, elevator pitches for full-length versions of their  
presentations, which are available on the web or by print order.

Let There Be Merchandise  -- souvenirs and collectibles that support  
organizations, enterprises, projects.  Not just a t-shirt, but a  
contribution to a cause.

Freebies Are Good -- the more giveaways, the better, goodie bags for  
all.  Contests, door prizes -- little things, but moments of  
recognition to reward randomly chosen attendees.

If there are private VIP only events, keep them private, off the  
official schedule, preferably off site.  From experience, there is  
nothing more annoying for "unimportant" people than seeing VIP events  
listed on an agenda.  Even better, don't have any barriers to any  
events, unless it's the price of a meal ticket or an ID check at the  
hospitality suite.

Some fun things on the side, after hours.  Space Sock Hop.  Space  
Pajama Party.  Space Short Subjects Movie Theater.  Space Trivia Quiz  
Show (the bar game).

Just thought I'd like to throw these ideas into the pot before it  
gets to a full boil, and I promise not to go away mad if any or all  
are outright rejected or politely ignored. Thanks for the invitation  
to participate -- I am happy to help in any way with what promises to  
be The Greatest Space Show On Earth --

Robin Snelson
National Space Society, The Planetary Society, Space Access Society,  
Space Frontier Foundation, X Prize Foundation (& more)

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