Minizine: Elements of the Conversation Starter

Event reports dream to be conversation starters. How can we make those dreams come true? In the minizine ‘Elements of a Conversation Starter’, the Hybrid Pubs research group maps the types of content that make a report into a conversation starter. Download the zine here, or read the contents below.

This minizine was collectively created by the Hybrid Pubs research group during a working session at Varia. Read about the previous work of the group here.


Why is this relevant?

Cultural life is still in post-Covid overhaul. Particularly, the quantity of events organized in and by cultural institutions is amazing. Openings, symposiums, finnisages, workshops, artist talks, and conferences abound. But what happens when the event is over? Where do all the cultural content, knowledge, and insights go?

It seems that we’re all too busy organizing events to think about the reporting. If an event has been livestreamed, the recording will often be dumped online. Sometimes an automated transcription is published. Very rarely, a written report is put out – always conjuring the question: who reads that kind of longblog? As far as reporting goes, hardly anything can be expected in this age of event overproduction.

Yet, there’s a good reason to pay more attention to cultural event reports. Often, events are like: ‘Oh, that was a nice start! But what now? Let’s meet again!’ And then it never happens. This is where reports come in. Reports have the potential to carry the conversation that was started at an event forward, share relevant takeaways, and stir up public debate. Our aim is to bring that potential to fruition.