A two-day conference in London will bring together key players from across the interactive television field to discuss how to create more engaging services.

Given that some of the most valuable moments at such conferences sometimes seem to be meeting fellow delegates between sessions, the focus of the event itself will be on promoting participation and interaction among those attending.

Chaired by William Cooper of informitv, the second annual Interactive Television Forum will feature leading speakers and a unique creative challenge.

The conference keynote on the potential of interactive services will be given by Lorraine Heggessey, chief executive of talkbackThames, the largest independent production company in the UK. She was previously the first woman controller of BBC One, where her commissions included Test the Nation and Spooks.

There will be a special panel session on “Seeing beyond the red button”, with David Docherty, former chief executive of YooMedia; Emma Somerville, head of interactive programming at the BBC; and Ian Valentine, technical alliances director of Sky Interactive.

Sky recently announced a new initiative to open up their platform to enable anyone to provide interactive services over the web. Sky will also be presenting the opportunities now available for the second smart card slot on their set-top boxes.

Through the two-day event there will be case studies featuring companies including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Flextech, FreemantleMedia, Turner, Celador, MTV, and Walt Disney.

The conference will even feature a live demonstration of how easy it is to put together an interactive application.

The networking will continue with a party for all attendees on the evening of the first day.

In addition to interactive programmes, there will be a look at gaming and gambling, with representatives from Playjam, Two Way TV and BettingCorp.

There will also be a look at interactive advertising, with a case study on the creation of a recent Honda campaign.

Finally, the conference will consider future strategies to survive and thrive in the new environment of personal video recorders, broadband networks, and video-on-demand services.

Unlike some conferences, the event itself will be interactive, using a structured roundtable format, with plenty of opportunities for discussions and networking.

It will all take place in the distinctly traditional surroundings of one of London’s most distinguished conference venues.