A speaker strides onto the stage, waxes poetic for 18 minutes, and walks off to thunderous applause and a viral video. Next speaker.
That's what good curation might look like. Because if curation is done well, the process seems invisible.
But behind the scenes, curation is gritty work. It is more than careful selection. It’s also about how each talk is framed. And how they fit with all the other talks. A curator asks what each talk, and the audience's journey will be through the whole program.
Curation is also about the architecture, the décor, the lighting. It’s about the feel of the room, and how the audience interacts with what they’re seeing. It's about how the speaker feels in the space from the moment they walk on site to the moment they walk off stage. Do the speakers enjoy working with each other? Can the creative and the production teams bring out the best in each other? Every element adds to the impact of the event.
Sometimes, that requires bold imagination. Sometimes, it's building teams and processes to ensure the content is unique, timely and powerful. And sometimes, it's about identifying a few small touches that can add a lot of meaning to your event.
That’s what a good curator loves to create.