Fishbowl is another format ideal for creating participation and dialogue amongst groups. Four chairs are placed in a circle in the centre of the room, with other chairs around these chairs for the audience. Three to four participants sitting in the centre circle are given a topic to discuss for the audience to listen to. In an open fishbowl scenario, one chair is left empty for a member of the audience to sit down and join the conversation. Participants can come and go. At the end of the session, a moderator summarises the whole discussion.
Fish Bowls are ideal for:
- Encouraging large group dialogue and a flow of ideas
- Opportunities for professional peer to peer connections
- Brainstorming issues and concepts
The Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) introduced fishbowl session in 2018 proving a hit with the delegates. It allowed attendees to become active participants and learn from one another. These sessions will continue in future AIEC conferences.
5. Pecha Kucha (or Ignite sessions)
Pecha Kucha is a fast-paced way to expose delegates to a range of topics and ideas in a short time frame. Speakers present up to 20 images discussing each for 20 seconds bringing the whole talk to just under 7 minutes. Images are required to slide automatically with speakers delivering only the pertinent points on the topic in synchronisation with the images.
Pecha Kucha is ideal for:
- Processing large groups of speakers in a short time frame
- Presenting a broad range of ideas and concepts to delegates
6. Lightning Talks
Lighting talks is another method for processing a large number of presenters and topics. Presenters are provided 5 to 10 minutes to discuss their topic usually within a session with a number of presenters. As presentations are brief, it requires for the speaker to stick to only the pertinent points and facts of their topics. Here presentations are usually grouped under a particular theme allowing delegates to select the most relevant presentations for them.
Lightning Talks are ideal for:
- Allowing presenters to present a topic in quick but articulate manner
- Grouping presenters under relevant themes
- Processing a large group of speakers in a short time frame
At the Asia Pacific Autism Conference, lightning talks were used to enable speakers to present their key messages with a few illustrations. These short and sharp presentations were packed with great take away value for delegates and were perfect for new, inexperienced presenters.
7. Birds of a Feather
Birds of a Feather is more of an informal gathering of people with a common professional link, interest or area of experience. Able to be scheduled in the program or in breaks, groups can gather to discuss set topics or alternatively just network.
Birds of a Feather is ideal for:
- Maximining networking opportunities for delegates
- Catering for the interests of a diverse delegate group
- Allows the session to create more of a conversation where all attendees participate