Too Many Conferences Provide Plop, Placate And Pay

A Fool And His Money By David Goehring

Have conferences become too enthralled with experts and attendees swapping solutions? Have conference organizers resigned themselves to the inertia of the way we’ve always done it? Is the traditional conference experience in danger of being institutionalized which devalues individual expression? Are we addicted to providing passive plop, placate and pay* experiences? Are conference organizers sitting on a ticking time bomb doomed to repeat their past experiences because they don’t know of … [Read more...]

Conferences Can Cultivate Curiosity Or The Cult Of Expertise Groupies

Black Lips At Maxwells by Alex Wright

Everyone seems to be looking for the next sure thing. We like answers. We seek quick remedies. We attend conferences looking for shortcut solutions with big payouts. We expend a lot of energy to find tips to the trade, keys to success, or hacks that provide instant results. The less we have to work at it, the more we like it. Cult Of Expertise We crave and want quick cures and successful tonics to our dilemmas. We spend $1,500-$2,000 for conference registration, lodging, travel and … [Read more...]

Increase Your Conference Attendee Engagement By Increasing Relevance

So engaged by timoni west

“How can I increase engagement at my conference?” It’s a question I hear a lot. “How can I help my attendees increase their engagement?” What’s my answer? Increase the relevance. Increase the relevance of the content. Increase the relevance of the learning experience. Oh and by the way, what type of engagement are you talking about? The Camouflaged Faux Engaged Attendee As meeting professionals, we struggle with defining attendee engagement. Too often we think that when … [Read more...]

Crank Up Your Conference Emotional Intensity With Bright Lights

2014.04.03_Ah Ha!

Forget about turning down the lights to set the mood for your opening general session. Why? It’s the perfect way to disengage and dial back your attendees’ emotions. If you want to emotionally connect and increase your audience’s emotional intensity, a University of Toronto study says you need to turn lights up bright! Bright Lights Arouse Intense Emotions Conventional wisdom says that sunny days can brighten our moods. While cloudy, rainy days can bring us down. However, this new … [Read more...]

Three Guaranteed Ways To Kill Your General Session Attendees

Is your general session like bug repellant only repelling attendees and attracting crickets? Is it a sure-fire way to keep attendees in their hotel beds? Here are three fail-safe strategies that are guaranteed to kill your general sessions and create the walking dead! 1. Be A Chest-Thumping Legacy Gorilla Male gorillas beat their chests to show their strength and dominance. They want others to know all about them in an attempt to challenge. Many organizations start their general sessions with … [Read more...]

Creating Conference Engagement With These Seven Social Spaces

People participate in a variety of behaviors at a typical conference. They enter the conference with specific expectations of what they can do at the event, who they can do it with and what's expected of them. So how often do we plan conferences with a focus on the behaviors and types of spaces that attendees use? Seven Social Spaces The goal of categorizing spaces is to get you to think about what your attendees might be doing in these spaces. And what they might be doing it for. Thinking … [Read more...]

How To Create A Sticky Conference

2012.05.25_Gooey Flour Paste Hands September 11, 20101 by stevendepolo, on Flickr

Just how sticky is your conference? Sticky conferences create experiences that last beyond the two to three days of the conference. They focus on creating real relationships with strong connections. It's about more than speed networking where people just exchange business cards or speed sessions to see how much info people can cram into their brains. Sticky conferences focus on interactivity of participants. The more interactive participants are; the more engaged they are. The more engaged … [Read more...]

Horseshoe Groups: Merging Two Buzz Groups To Increase Audience Discussion

Lectures are a barrier to the listener's thinking. The constant one-way transfer of information is like a dripping faucet. The information keeps coming and coming and coming. And that constant drip of new data, facts, figures and info keeps the brain overwhelmed with new information. The listener is faced with a choice: listen to the new information or think about what they just heard. You can't listen to the lecture and think about that information at the same time. You either do one or the … [Read more...]