Conference Education’s Dirty Little Secret

AmazingPushButtonSushAction by Laura Taylor

All conference education has a dirty little secret. And it’s bigger and dirtier than most. The big skeleton in the conference closet is that most attendees will forget the majority of what they hear during the event. The current design of the education session sabotages your learning and retention. Let’s Waste The Company’s Money No one says, “Hey, let’s spend a lot of money and time to attend a conference and participate in education sessions that we will never remember. Or even … [Read more...]

Speakers: Covering Content Actually Obscures Understanding

Dress wrist shot by Guy Sle

Education is one way to improve ourselves personally and professionally. Whenever we find ourselves lacking knowledge, understanding or skills for a specific job task, we take a class. Or attend a conference. Or participate in a webinar. Or read a book. Sounds really simple. Right? Well, it’s not. The challenge with most education is our belief that learning something we don’t know requires an expert (the speaker) or another means (books, online, computers). The Watch Analogy Note: I … [Read more...]

You Need To Move The Finish Line For Your Learning Participants

Finishline by Jayneandd

We are sending the wrong message with the majority of our organization’s learning opportunities. Our programs often end with a certificate of completion, CEU credit or some type of recognition. It implies that the learner is done. The learner has arrived. That learners have completed all that is required of them. The Real Work The real work actually begins when the education session ends. The real work is the effort the learner uses to transfer and apply the new knowledge and skills … [Read more...]

Conferences Are Providing Inferior Education Through Lectures


Conferences are providing inferior education if all they provide is didactic, presenter monologue lectures. Yes, that’s right. The speaker lecture is ineffective and inferior! If all your attendees do is sit and listen passively to speakers, you’re providing bad conference education! At least that’s what 2001 Physics Nobel Prize recipient, Stanford professor and former director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Carl Weiman says regarding lectures. … [Read more...]

15 Myths We Hold As Truths About Conference Education

Lies by Ged Carroll, on Flickr

We all believe in myths. Some of us don’t know that our own personal beliefs are actually based on fiction. Some of us hold on to our own personal experiences as supporting evidence of our beliefs. We don’t realize that our realities are often grounded in confirmation bias. We fail prey to the adage, “But I know better because my own experience says so.” Confirmation Bias We like people who think like us. If we agree with someone’s beliefs, we are more likely to be their friend. If we … [Read more...]

What Will Associations Monetize In The Future?

2014.04.09_Show me the money...

Associations offer more than education opportunities. They provide industry research, membership, certification and standards, networking and advocacy. And all of these services have been monetized in order to provide additional services for their members. Yet, today, many of these services have become commoditized. Others produce these products, often at higher quality, with value-adds, at lower costs or even free. So what will associations monetize in the future? Education And Content … [Read more...]

Kneebucklingly Sweet Idea Generation Tool: Brainwriting


Brainstorming is out! Brainwriting is in! Brainstorming Challenges Brainstorming is something most of us know and have used at some point in our lives. It’s a tool often used to create a list of spontaneous ideas contributed by a group. Alex Faickney Osborn popularized the tool in 1953. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone when creating lists of solutions. Recently, critics have declared brainstorming ineffective and even damaging. Some … [Read more...]

Flipping Conference Education For Successful Learning

2014.03.28_Flipped Thinking

Sure, the “flipped classroom” is a buzzword and the trend right now. However, the concept of being learner-centric and providing active learning during the education session is not a trend! It’s here to stay because it works! Defining Flipped Education So what is the flipped conference education session? In short, the term is used to describe any format where there is a pre-recorded or pre-conference feature. It might be a lecture on video, recorded PPT presentation or pre-conference … [Read more...]