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I think that's a great idea. I should set aside a budget for conference attending, but I fear it'll have to be 2009...

Reboot and LIFT are both ones I'd love to attend - I don't think I've heard/read any bad reviews of either.

Biennial-wise, I've only attended the Liverpool one and you're in luck as it'll be on next year. You can get some sort of idea what it's like from my review of 2004's http://www.mcqn.net/mcfilter/archives/photos/biennial_2004.html I should be back in Liverpool by then, so drop me a line if you do go.

Other random ideas to throw in the mix...

I'm hoping to make it along to the Milan furniture festival in April-ish time. Torino has CioccolaTO, a chocolate festival of some sort that I'm looking forward to :-) and next year Torino is World Design Capital so there might be something of interest at http://www.torinoworlddesigncapital.it/portale/en/content_calendario.php?t=1196463600&categoria=4 (I haven't worked out what I'll be attending yet, but it's easier for me as I'm living here atm).

Check out Toronto's annual TED lite - IdeaCity.


Hey Russell,

I've often heard great things about ideaCity in Toronto.... might be worth a look. http://www.ideacityonline.com/



On the art side, I'd say Berlin or Liverpool in 2008 (unfortunately 2007 was the trifecta of Basel, Venice and documenta). There's a list here: http://www.universes-in-universe.de/car/e-calendar.htm

I may venture back to Venice for the architecture biennale, as I've never been, and I've always seen interesting things emerge from it.

I can fully endorse Reboot having been a couple of times. Not just tech, it brings a lot more too it than that and definitely makes you think.

I hope they do another Postopolis, I'd find that very hard to resist.

As far as lit fests go, I can heartily recommend Port Eliot. It was lovely this year. I haven't been to Hay, so I can't compare, but I get the impression PL is a bit rougher round the edges. Which can only be a good thing.

Some more art suggestions - if you're feeling adventurous there's the Sydney biennial, or if you're going to the US check out the Whitney biennial (NYC).
literary festivals - try the Aldeburgh literary festival:
smaller than Hay and less 'guardian'

I was going to suggest Idea City, but Lynn beat me to it.

I've wanted to check this (http://www.ideafestival.com/dynamic/speakers/index.cfm?CFID12460&CFTOKEN=44470184) out over the last couple of years, it sounds great. They're starting to put up some audio or video of past speakers.

Of course, you could always join me at the Winter Music Conference in Miami.

This might be a leeeetle bit on the unnecessarily hardcore side, but I'm planning to put a call into XTech - http://2008.xtech.org/- which is in Dublin this year. It's a seriously technical event, but the core issues's this:

How do we write things down so we can send them to each other and find them again later?

Nearly all of the semantic web/markup language research out there boils down to that statement, I reckon. It's a properly hard question.

Cebit or the consumer electronics one in Las Vegas in jan. Its usually the one where they launch all their next round of technology for the year

I've never been, but I've watched the Cheltenham Science Festival from afar for a while. Probably not your thing, but they also have a literary festival there, which may be.

Closer to home, London had a literary festival around the South Bank this September, and there's also a fringe festival associated with it; I assume it'll be repeated next year. Maybe you mean festivals more in the sense of "all encompassing thing you travel to" though.

Drew Hemment's Futuresonic is a great reason to go to Manchester next May.

It's an "Urban Festival of Art, Music & Ideas" and it deserves to be bigger. Some of the music acts in '06 were amazing, but sadly I didn't make it this year.


I'd strike off that suggestion of CeBit and CES (sorry Mike) - I go to them both and I think there are far more brain-stimulating ways to spend your time and money.

I'm hoping to make it to eTech and Lift myself, then have a bit of a break over the spring.

My favourite conferences and trade shows are ones that tell me about something I never usually think about: The British Association festival of science (September, this year it's in Liverpool) is always meant to be mind expanding, and don't tell anyone but I've always wanted to go to the Attractions Expo, which is a big show for the fairground industry.

Give the conferences a miss Russell and get out amongst the people. Ordinary people that is, not academics and highbrow types.

Go to a Champions League game on the continent.

Go to a cricket match in India.

Spend a week at the always good Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Maybe even run with the bulls in Pamplona.

I'm sure you'd learn a lot at these kind of events. I know I did.


I'd love to go to the New York Toy Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair (and would enjoy doing so vicariously via your blog if you were to go). I've wanted to go to the Game Developers Conference for a while too. More realistically, I'll probably be going to Museums and the Web and/or ICHIM (http://www.archimuse.com/index.html), the Cheltenham science festival, plus Reboot. Lift was the best run conference I've ever been to (aside from Interesting, obviously) and the line-up looks fantastic this year.

I'd love to see you at Reboot - it was transformative for me. I'm off to LIFT for the first time this year, but not sure how it will scale up.

If you want to come along to an alternative on your doorstep, then join us on Jan11 in Olympia for TeachMeet. It's an education and technology unconference I help unorganise, and it's got some amazing educators showing some ingenious stuff they've been up to.


russell, you can't go past Ars Electronica in linz for both art and tech. This year's subject was Goodbye Privacy and was brilliant. You can listen to people talk about techy stuff AND arty stuff 'til the cows come home - plus you can look at arty things and they have film and sound stuff as well. and linz is actually a pretty cool little town and reasonably affordable. it's no documenta or biennale, but i think you might dig it.

Check out the annual Dolls' House Fair at Kensington Town Hall.

Dolls' housekeeping seems to be growing hugely in popularity; what are dolls' houses but exercises in wish fulfillment acted out in miniature?

Got to be interesting from a planner perspective...see you there I hope!

Mr. Davies,

A conference to consider:

VizThink Conference 2008

Hi Russell,

Obviously, this is like receiving a Christmas gift a month too late but I would recommend attending the Ubud Writers' Festival in Bali.

They have stalwarts from the literary world speaking, listening, writing and sharing their future plans. Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners are a given.

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