Posted on Useful Stuff during the Congress for the New Urbanism in Denver:
Ever try to be a street orator? Today's Original Green session at the CNU in Denver was scheduled for a room where it couldn't possibly work. Why? Two walls were almost completely glass, so there's no way anybody could see my images on the screen. But just outside the room, there was a really wide, dark spot in the hallway where the staff was able to sit up about a hundred chairs, so we quickly set up there.
The session came off great! All the seats were filled, and people were standing along the walls. And because the session wasn't behind closed doors, many of the people who were walking by changed their plans and stayed to listen. The ethos of the meeting was a lot like an ad hoc street oration in a dark corner of a city somewhere. A marketplace of ideas. Some of the hotel staff even stopped and stayed to listen. And one of them stayed afterwards and asked a lot of questions about the Original Green.
As a matter of fact, it was so good that I don't want to do another presentation behind closed doors... if I can avoid it. If we're planning to spread ideas, then which is better: attracting only attendees who know about your idea beforehand, or attracting those people PLUS people who knew nothing about your ideas beforehand? So why the closed doors?