The World's Largest Event for E-Business and Internet Technology
July 19-22, 1999
McCormick Place, Chicago Illinois
Posted December 8, 1998
Penton Media's INTERNET WORLD Summer conference consists of four days of Vertical Conferences, Intensive Workshops and General Sessions that cover Internet, e-business and World Wide Web topics for a sophsticated business audience that includes: executives of businesses exploring, analyzing and deploying electronic business tools; commercial and enterprise Internet infrastructure and service managers; Web developers and designers, and Internet industry professionals and media.
Six Vertical Conferences bring together key practitioners, analysts and vendors together in tightly-focused  two-day conferences covering major business themes:
and one four-day, two track conference: Also under consideration for Chicago are a series of one- and two-day Intensive Workshops that focus on timely Internet business topics: Finally, five tracks of 60 and 90 minute General Sessions run Tuesday through Thursday concurrent with the INTERNET WORLD exhibition in the form of Instructionals, Roundtables and Panels and Debates. To browse recent General Session topics, see:

Potential speakers with teaching, training or public speaking experience, in-depth knowledge of their subjects and impartial perspectives on products and trends are invited to submit proposals that fit this curriculum or that add important new topics through our on-line
Conference Session Proposal Form.
The deadline for submissions for  INTERNET WORLD Summer 99 is January 20, 1999.
(For tips on submitting proposals and speaking at INTERNET WORLD conferences, see the Conference Backgrounder.)




The standard INTERNET WORLD conference format, an Instructional is a well-prepared, well-organized and compellingly presented educational event. Instructional faculty have in-depth knowledge of their subjects and a willingness to share their perspectives as well as their data. They are usually the developers, published authors, hands-on practitioners, industry analysts or senior executives working in their subject areas.

The most successful instructional speakers organize their presentations into lists, e.g. "The Five Cs of Web Marketing," "The Seven Keys to Effective Web Sites," "Guidelines to Choosing an Optimal Web System." and so on. They also prepare good web-based courseware and handouts, focus on practical issues and day-to-day concerns, and develop strong rapport with their audiences.

The best INTERNET WORLD speakers have some background in teaching, corporate training or public speaking. They do not present commercial pitches for themselves or their companies' products. (They are never asked back if they do.)

Roundtables and Panels

Done right, Roundtables and Panels can help illuminate a complex issue by presenting alternative perspectives on what individuals and companies have done. Successful panels are chaired by careful moderators who prepare their panelists ahead of time with the session's scope, ground rules and a list of relevant questions. During the discussion, moderators present fair overviews of the key issues for the audience, keep the speakers on track and on time, translate jargon and acronymns and spark discussion among competing points of view. Web-based courseware with references to the key issues and the contact sites of the panelists round out the session.

In a ROUNDTABLE format,

  1. The moderator introduces the topic with three minutes or so of overview and scene-setting information.
  2. The moderator briefly introduces each panelist and puts each in perspective relative to the session topic.
  3. Each panelist gives a short five to seven minute background presentation that develops the panelist's point of view.
  4. The moderator poses questions, generates arguments, involves the audience and tells the story through the interaction of all participants.
  5. In the final two or three minutes, the moderator summarizes the discussion, points out the key points of agreement and contention, identifies resources for further study and ends the session on time.
  1. The moderator introduces each speaker and puts each talk in perspective.
  2. Each speaker gives a 15 or 20 minutes prepared presentation.
  3. The moderator asks questions and elicits responses from the audience.
Great ROUNDTABLES are run by well-prepared moderators who tease out the drama of the topic, building the story piece-by-piece and throwing spotlights on the key issues. Great PRESENTATION PANELS download lots of information in a short time and depend on the moderator to put each talk into perspective.


As the audience's surrogate, the moderator asks the clarifying questions of speakers who mumble and use too many obscure references and slaps down the presenters who try to do commercial spiels. When it works well, everybody on the stage looks good and the audience leaves feeling smarter than when they came in. Six weeks before the show, the moderator should:

  1. Contact each panelist with a brief overview and a list of possible questions. (There should always be a few surprises.)
  2. Chat by phone or in the Speakers Lounge (on-site) with each panelist to find the points of agreement and contention.
  3. Sketch out the storyline and help the panelists fit their components into the big picture.

A Debate should always take place between two or more evenly matched opponents whose knowledge, experience and public presentation skills are all top-notch. Debates need a strong moderator who polices the fairness and accuracy of information, keeps time and brings the audience into the discussion. Web-based courseware with references to the key issues, links to relevant newsgroups and the contact sites of the debaters keep the issues alive after the final bell.

Please email any comments, suggestions or additions to this Curriculum Sketch to:
Jack Powers, Conference Chairman,  Penton Media's INTERNET WORLD.

© Copyright Penton Media Corporation 1998. All Rights Reserved.