Yesterday, I had a lot of negative things to say about the 2014 Kotesol International Conference. Today, I'm going to give my #1 tip to improve it. If I were in charge, here's what I would do.
Instead of focusing so much on the big, famous names, I'd try to feature some of the more popular local presenters. I'd try to find out who the top 25 presenters in Korea are. You could do this various ways such as comments on a Facebook thread, submissions by email, asking the Kotesol chapter presidents/VP's/national executive for recommendations. Anyway, compile a list and find the people who get mentioned 3 or 4 or more times. These would be your top 25.
Then, contact these 25 people and give them some sort of incentive to present in 1 or 2 slots (their choice) at the conference. Don't make them go through the vetting process and give them freedom to present on topics of their choosing. The incentive could maybe be a free conference pass for people in Seoul/Gyeonggi-Do and a free pass +100 000 Won for transport for those outside Seoul. You'd probably have 15+ of them respond positively.
Then, ensure that at least one of these people covers every single slot during the entire conference, and even during the plenary sessions have one or two of these people giving a presentation as well. People like choice and there are a significant number of people who don't care about the famous people.
Highlight them in the program as "featured local presenter" and give them some of the bigger rooms. See what happens!
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