HARRISON OWEN supplements his four rules for conferences with one law. "The Law is the so called Law of Two Feet, which states simply, if at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use you two feet and move to some place more to you liking. Such a place might be another group, or even outside into the sunshine. No matter what, don’t sit there feeling miserable."
As Lance Knobel explains, "The logic behind this is more than procedural. Think what establishing a typical conference panel involves. However open the organisers, the panelists and the participants, by making the choices of subject, framing the question, choosing the panelists, you've already predetermined much of the argument (which for a polemical organisation may be a good thing). You may want your participants to make an intellectual journey from A to Z, but you're starting them on K. Why not let everyone start at A?" If you have a credible moderator for each conference session, you're set up for a much more productive occasion.