PSFK founder Piers Fawkes discusses the strategy behind speaker selection.
Today we’ve announced the first list of speakers and panelists for the conference. I’d guess that we’re about half way there to filling the speaker list. This year, I have been working with PSFK.com Managing Editor Dory Carr-Harris to curate our speakers. By partnering, the hope is that we will be able to invite a broader mix of speakers than I may have chosen over the last 7 years. Dory spends every day managing the site and is very in-tune with the trends that are emerging.
Many of the speakers have had their projects written about on the pages of PSFK.com, some are old friends who we’ve invited back to share updates. Diversity, in all its forms, remains an objective for us as we plan the speaker line-up. Sure, you might note too that this first list is still dominated by too many thirty/forty-something white-dudes – despite our intentions and significant reach out. Bear with us on that one.
And the one big thing we’re trying not to do – is put on big names and big brands “just because.” It can be incredibly difficult not to play the big-name card – especially as we eye ticket-sales and sponsor partnerships – but my experience is that these talks often come off so manufactured and uninspiring. I really want people who are at the cutting edge of culture, not ones hyped about in the media.
I’m hoping to see many of you in New York on April 11. Yes, the speaker line up is important, but as anyone who has attended before can attest, the interaction and sharing of ideas among our guests is just as important and stimulating.
Tickets & Speaker Line Up: PSFK CONFERENCE 2014