Your Meeting Needs a Gallery

I stumbled across this picture in a BizBash article about TED (yes, TED is overexposed, but deal with it) and the wall the conference created with colorful placards of all its speakers.  I immediately became enamored with the possibilities it could offer for meetings and even see room for improvement.

Imagine doing something similar for one of your conferences, but instead of just listing speaker names, you include one provocative statement from the speaker related to the content of their session.  Now this wall becomes a learning/takeaway device.  You could even add session info (date, time, location) to make this a scheduling/planning tool.

No need to limit the wall to speakers though, why not involve participants (particularly in a smaller meeting) in making their own posters and sharing one concrete idea others can learn about by speaking with them during the event?

Years ago at one of the Real Time conferences it sponsored back then, Fast Company magazine captured real-time quotes from speakers in sessions, immediately printed them out on 11x17 posters, and had them lining the hallways outside the meeting space right after the sessions ended.  Instant learning reinforcement!

And while it's currently all the rage to have television monitors project a scrolling Twitter wall with Tweets from conference participants, I must admit to favoring these more old-school, handcrafted applications a bit more.  Scan the posters for any of these simple approaches and you immediately have a content-rich slide deck or PDF to provide participants as a conference takeaway.

Adding some sort of wall display or gallery creates a new community space, one where people can gather with others, engage in informal conversation, and create new connections.  What other possibilities can you envision for adding a gallery wall to a conference?