• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of The Paracast, the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, plus show transcripts, the new Paracast+ Video Channel, Classic Episodes and Special Features categories! We now offer lifetime memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://www.theparacast.com/plus/

    The Official Paracast Store is back! Check out our latest lineup of customized stuff at: The Official Paracast Store!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

What Would a Paracast UFO/Paranormal Conference Look Like?



trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
#61
The central question in my mind is, "Will there be dancing girls?" Without dancing girls I just ... well I just don't see ...I mean what's the point?

You need to add Greg Valdez to that list. I think anyone with even a passing interest in UFOs and cattle mutilations should be listening to that guy.

Also, we are going to be hard pressed to get Carl Jung to show up unless we use a Ouija board or something.
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
Staff member
#62
Sorry trained.....I tried to get all the post mortem names off there. Guess I missed it.

And you avoided the question.....what would you pay to attend a conference with, say, your top five individuals for that list? $25 a day? $50?
 

Heidi Lemmer

Paranormal Adept
#65
Sorry trained.....I tried to get all the post mortem names off there. Guess I missed it.

And you avoided the question.....what would you pay to attend a conference with, say, your top five individuals for that list? $25 a day? $50?
If I had enough advance notice of an event like this I'd work it to come up with 300. - 400. I would think with that line-up you'd have a hard time keeping seats open. If you did it right, you'd gain a reputation of weeding out the loonies and attracting a more formal, scientific approach , possibly bringing in media. It could be "the place to be" convention, kinda like TED. Building off a first start convention, each one following would bring the latest studies, book reviews, maybe seminars on the various major topics of the day. Maybe take a look at how other convention platforms are set up and what's proving successful. To me, the trick is to keep a convention like this open to all the possibilities while still maintaining a professional approach to each subject, so you would want the best thinkers out there. Also, it would be nice to have goals in mind....not just a speech to speech weekend but maybe interactive groups that attempt to hash out the data and move a subject/problem along. Also, what businesses and/or foundations would benefit to advertise at this convention that don't delude the atmosphere but instead give it a more professional atmosphere?
 

Jeff Crowell

Paranormal Annoyance
Staff member
#67
It could be "the place to be" convention, kinda like TED. Also, what businesses and/or foundations would benefit to advertise at this convention that don't delude the atmosphere but instead give it a more professional atmosphere?
The TED concept is a great idea....sort of an informal key-note speech (like Steve Jobs), no podium, no computer or slide presentation. Just engaging talk. That may work but often times people like to see slides and evidence on-screen other than just a guy up there talking. Still, some speakers may be able to pull it off and be quite compelling with that type of presentation.

Great idea, and I'll be posing to a few speakers, it if I can. As far as the vendors, well, baby-steps. :) .
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
#68
Great, and how much would you pay? And would you pay for several days of Valdez dancing? Maybe the salsa on Friday, and two-step on Saturday?
a tough call, i could see myself parting with maybe about $400 for a weekend including rooms. At the risk of coming across as a micro-managing penny pincher, when it came to admittance to the venue it would be nice if there was two options available. There could be a “day pass” that would allow unlimited attendance at any and all of the speakers and programs that would be included with the option of ala-carte pricing for individual programs. For instance in all likelihood such a conference would probably include a symposium with remote viewing. I don’t have a particular interest in that field and if there was a single day pass fee I would feel sort of gipped if I paid such a fee and only attended a couple of programs or speakers because my personal interests weren’t reflected on that particular day. And if on the next day I had an interest in much of the scheduled programs THEN I could purchase the day pass and enjoy unlimited admittance to the various programs
 

dyingsun

Paranormal Adept
#69
I'm sorry if I hurt any sensibilities here. None of theses entities gives a damn, we created them a long time ago and they don't seem to go anywhere. ;)
 

bobodean

Skilled Investigator
#71
Consult with Micah Hanks. He and Scotty Roberts seem to have been successful with the Paradigm Symposium.
I do hope that if you get a conference going you would stay away from political issues and politically charged speakers.
Many is the time I have stopped listening to the paracast when a guest(or even a former host) went on a rant degrading rightwing or conservative people.
Play it right down the middle and it might work.
Best of luck!!
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
#72
Sorry trained.....I tried to get all the post mortem names off there. Guess I missed it.

And you avoided the question.....what would you pay to attend a conference with, say, your top five individuals for that list? $25 a day? $50?

Yes, if it were held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Maybe, if held in Vegas. Phoenix, ...eh, not so much.
 

toxicsurf

Skilled Investigator
#73
It's been almost 6 months since a post on this thread, any headway? I know it was brought up in a podcast not long ago...

I think we really need to do a few things to make it unique from all the old, stale typical UFO cons. Of course a much more reputable line-up as has been suggested (demanded)...

How about some debates? For instance:
Alexander vs. Grant Cameron
Don Ecker vs. James O'Berg
Robert Hastings vs. James Carlson
Friedman vs. Kimball

Although a couple of these would be more like wars than debates, they would definitely bring in the crowds...

Also a large area for individual presentations or hands-on experiences. For example a booth featuring astronomical and atmospheric events that are ofter confused with ufo sightings. Like celestial events, satellite tracking, basic astronomy, drone id's, etc...you know, basic separating signal from noise stuff....

OH, and some panels with question and answer sessions...
 

Blabyboy

Paranormal Maven
#74
From previous experience, here are a few things that may help. Happy to fill out if needed.

Issue a Call for Papers (CfP)
You get a chance to speakers to pitch their ideas for talks to you. It allows people who may not be a big name, but have an interesting proposal to get a look in. You can then categorise them and run targeted tracks if you wanted. It also allows you to break out of the same old same old that tends to dominate conferences. Have a couple in reserve and ask that the successful speakers provide their slidedecks a month in advance so you know they have the material for the conference.

Allow an un-conference at the venue.
Talks often spark more debate and discussion, so if possible offer a room or two and a whiteboard with a schedule outside of it that anybody can schedule a short talk or discussion. It also allows those attendees who have a germ of an idea but not a fully developed talk to present it to any interested people in a more relaxed atmosphere. Google the idea if you need more detail.

Offer "Blind bird" tickets
You can get an some initial funds by offering tickets at a much reduced rate for the conference without announcing all the guests / schedule. Some people will buy because it is cheaper and take the risk of a 'lucky dip'. If they're regular listeners, they'll also most likely be re-assured that the quality of discussion is going to be better than previous paranormal conferences. ;)

After this, you can release early bird tickets when you have 75% of the schedule filled and people have a clearer idea of who's going to be there and what the schedule will look like.

Sponsors
I think you probably know a lot in this area already, but don't forget to offer pitches for top and tailing any audio or video collateral you produce - sponsors often like this as they get much more longevity from their sponsorship. Obviously break it down into bands like Platinum(2 sponsors), Gold (3), Silver(3), Bronze(4). You can also offer Media partner sponsorships - they promote you ahead of time via their mediums and you promote them at the conference. Sponsors help to fill (and pay for) conference bags.

Lunches / Networking events
All can be sponsored to help reduce costs. How this is done varies - if you have a specific sponsor you might let them make the announcement of their sponsorship. If they have reps, they could work the room exclusively for that event. Do not do this for lunches/meals ;) just be discreet for those.

Venue
You've already covered a lot in the thread. But if it's in a hotel, obviously ask if you can get a room package as well. If it's not in one specific hotel, then you could be cheeky and ask around at a few hotels and see if you can get a deal. Make sure you have good Wifi at the venue. Plenty of power bricks; a flipchart or two. Check if they have an in-house technician(s) who come as part of the package - it's always tempting to think you can cover that, but on the day(s), you just want to be able hand off all that to someone else who does it day in, day out and be able to get on dealing with the other problems.

Internet conference
You could test a lot of things and remove the hassle of the venue by having an internet conference. You can use this as a pre-cursor to a larger conference at a venue. You can test specific topics with some people from the CfP activity and also introduce them to a wider audience. You could try a google hangout for the unconference side or for a panel discussion - and record it to youtube so you have a footprint to build on.

Will post more as I remember.
 
#76
I like this idea a lot and hope it happens. Like LaBombette, I would like to see a mix of personalities and backgrounds. UFO stuff is great but the paranormal covers a wide range of topics.
I used to go to the Whole Life Expo in LA each year. There were speakers that I had no interest in as well as ones I thought were straight up BS. (one person was a "walk-in" from the Philadelphia Experiment etc.) So I think with this type of gathering, it would be the same. People could pick and chose the items of personal interest.
I like the Vegas or Phoenix idea but wonder about the cost as I am still unemployed. But yes, very interested.
 

courtspark1960

Skilled Investigator
#77
We recently received the following email from a listener:

"Why don't you folks hold a 'Para-Conference' (sic) where only credible speakers and evidence will be allowed. Stop complaining about silly conferences that have less than credible persons speaking and set the precedence by hosting a conference that is beyond reproach!

If anyone is going to do it and 'separate the signal from the noise' it is you guys. As we used to say in the ARMY, 'make it happen'."

Hmm. Interesting idea. What should this event look like? Strictly a UFO conference? W/ a dash or dollop of the Fortean? Something ufological but based in quality scientific work — like an event the SSE should feature? Or, (my vote :cool:) a conference totally out-of-the-box and in yer face? I'd imagine something that stretched from consciousness studies to optical physics, quantum physics w/ stops at UFOs, cryptocreatures, OOPARTS, trickster/synchronistic inexplicability, the interpretation of "unexplained" as reflected in religious belief, the role of media and the resulting cultural bias around belief in "the paranormal," Heh-heh I like that idea... Do you have any ideas space fanz?
Everything you just laid out. And since I just listened to an interview with Chris Knowles, whose take on archetypes and symbology I've followed for years, I would suggest his being a speaker.
 

Top