The New Keynote

No conference agenda would be complete without the ever-important keynote. Keynotes are a great time for organizers to hammer their central message and theme to the audience, and set the tone for the programming and interactions that follow. However, keynotes are shifting away from the usual drawn out powerpoint slides with a blue suit talking at the audience.

The modern keynote is evolving into a shorter, more dynamic presentation. No longer just one speaker talking for an hour, events are harnessing multiple speakers for 15-20 minute topic segments, and utilizing a variety of voices (like customers) beyond just the CEO to provide more engaging, interactive sessions.

Have a great industry expert that might not do well under the bright spotlight on stage? Try switching up the format with a fireside chat – your speaker may be more confident in an intimate setting, and attendees will benefit from the conversational format. Tying in technology like branded cell phone games and question polling can also keep a keynote fresh, while providing a powerful learning experience.

Some organizers are taking the keynote experience a step further by giving attendees the option of watching from a different location. Consider events like Salesforce Dreamforce and Oracle OpenWorld, where sessions were streamed to media walls and screens around the campus, allowing attendees to view the content from a variety of indoor and outdoor environments.

Regardless of whether or not you’re looking to completely overhaul your approach or simply add in a couple new ideas, the keynote of yesterday will not impress the audience of tomorrow. Interested in seeing how Sparks can take your event into the future?

Posted by Vikram Sangha | Request as a Speaker

Senior Strategist, pop culture enthusiast, and iPhonetographer. Can usually be found dancing at the intersection of good music & good vibes.