Frequently Asked Questions

Just a few to get started ...

When will The Brisbane Dialogues take place?

Whenever an inaugural event can be put together, ideally in Q1 2020, but quality is more important than timing. The relationships and pipeline that emerge out of the inaugural event will inform subsequent events. It will be organic, not over-ambitious. From little things, big things grow!

Who is behind The Brisbane Dialogues?

A small group of Brisbane citizens is developing The Brisbane Dialogue concept on a pro bono basis together with for-profit interstate speaker event companies. Not-for-profit think tanks are also being approached. This is planned to evolve into a flexible coalition of sponsors, media and other organisational partners and volunteers who would like to see The Brisbane Dialogues happen.

Who will be responsible for the event/s?

Speaker event companies who are managing tours for high profile speakers will have ultimate responsibiity and full risk/reward for respective events, as they do in other cases. The main difference will be that they will have the benefit of a local coalition of sponsors, partners and volunteers they would not normally have, sourced from organisations and individuals who want to facilitate public intellectual events in Brisbane.

What organisation and structure is needed?

As mentioned, each event would be staged by a speaker events company, supported by an evolving coalition of Brisbane organisations and individuals with an interest in facilitating such events. If the first event is a success and it turns into a series, this might evolve into a minimal virtual organisation with Content/Logistics/Promotion/IT/Finance functions providing a pro bono package service to successive speaker event companies.

Why do speaker event companies need extra support to stage events in Brisbane?

The companies are typically small businesses taking a big risk touring big name speakers who are paid on a per event basis. In many cases, the owners judge that the marginal risk/reward from a Brisbane event with a smaller audience is less attractive than investing more in the promotion of a committed event in Sydney or Melbourne. Secondly, a moderated discussion including an expensive big name speaker carries a higher cost and more complex logistics than does a straightforward lecture by that speaker.

What are the risks?

The risk (and financial reward) on each event will be borne as per normal by the speaker event company, as reduced by local sponsorship and donated services. Any reputational risks to parties involved will be managed principally by careful selection of speaker event companies and discussion subjects. For any ongoing functions behind The Brisbane Dialogues, there will be minimal overhead and risk, with a nominal, virtual, volunteer, non-profit, pro bono organisation to facilitate further events, using the lowest cost digital platform, and no need or motive to generate income or build a commercial brand.

Is there a big enough audience in Brisbane?

See above question on risks. This is mainly a question for the speaker event companies who know the market best. By reducing the companies' costs, ticket sales do not have to be as high of course. Cross-promotion to make sure the potential audience knows about events is critical. Attendances at the Jordan Peterson lecture (c.1,000?) at the Convention Centre, the Douglas Murray/Cornel West (?) dialogue at the Tivoli and nearly 500 at the Jacinta Price talk at the Princess Theatre, over the past year or so are encouraging. There are 5,000 members of "intellectual" Meetups in Brisbane (considerable double counting no doubt), excluding book clubs/reading groups. Approx 20,000 people attend Brisbane Writers Festival events. There are niches to be developed, e.g. secondary students through school partnerships. In general, a lot of people are frustrated about polarisation, fragmentation and stifling of debate by political correctness, as illustrated by massive numbers of podcast and Youtube downloads on intellectual subjects, which is largely how "high profile" speakers become high profile these days.