Your Conference Needs A Customer Vision Statement

Tower Optical Binocular by Ellie

What is your vision for your conference customer? In case you are confused by the term conference customer, I mean your paying attendee or registrant. What is your vision for your conference customer, the paying attendee? How do you hope to help your paying attendee to grow, evolve or transform? What traits and characteristics do you desire to create in your customers through your conference experience? Those are some tough questions we need to consider. Many conference organizers have … [Read more...]

Designing Conference Customers, Not Just Traditional Conferences

VenetianCarnivalMask by gnuckx

We are thinking about conference innovation from the wrong perspective. We usually think about conference innovation as something we create for our paying attendees. Or we think about innovation as something we design with attendees through crowdsourcing. We need to make a critical leap. Conference innovation is a way to design attendees! Innovation should be treated as a medium and method for (re)desigining customer. ~ HBR author Michael Schrage. Evolving Your Conference … [Read more...]

Measuring What Matters To Your Conference

RoundMeasuringSpoonsbyTheen Moy

If the only conference numbers you care about are attendance, exhibitors, revenue and profits, you will never be able to understand why those numbers fluctuate. You’re only guessing and planning conference programming through a shot-gun approach if you don’t get serious about measurement. It’s time to stop relying on your gut. Or your volunteer conference planning committee. It’s time to measure what matters to improve your conference. Data Counting Versus Measurement You probably … [Read more...]

Using Empathy Mapping To Create Conference Target Market Personas

Holdinghands-Valerie Everett

We could all use a little more empathy…and a little less yelling! And your organization could definitely cultivate more empathetic team members who help plan and design your conference and education offerings. Why We Need More Empathy For Our Stakeholders Empathy is walking in another person’s shoes and understanding life through their eyes. It is trying to experience and feel what they are feeling. When we experience empathy, we are known to increase our helping behaviors. It’s … [Read more...]

What Do You Want Your Conference Customers To Become?


“It’s not the attendees’ job to know what they want,” paraphrase of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. “Larry [Page] is into making people what he wants them to be—which is a little smarter,” former Google Executive (from author’s private correspondence).” So who do you want your conference customers to become? Adopting The Ask In Conference Design This simple question, “Who do you want your conference customers to become?” can transform your traditional conference planning. HBR author … [Read more...]

Confirmation Bias And Why Conferences Need To Become Innovation Labs

Innovate by Sebastien Wiertz

No matter how open minded people profess to be, we're all hard-wired to some degree for confirmation bias. It is a filter that we use to see reality that matches our thinking. It can cloud our thinking and distort our pursuit of facts. Confirmation Bias And Change Confirmation Bias is our default preference for consuming information that supports what we already believe. And what about people with differing viewpoints? If they're credible, we may listen for a bit, but then it's back to … [Read more...]

What You Are Doing Today Probably Will Not Drive Your Long Term Conference Growth

drivegrowth by Thomas Anderson

Most conference strategy is stuck! It’s stuck in strategic thinking based on ideas and frameworks designed for a different era. Our current conference growth strategy is out of context with today’s dramatic accelerated pace of change. We have taken for granted a set of growth strategy assumptions that served us in the past. But they have been overthrown by a new set of customer and market principles. The Purpose Of Old-School Strategy Most strategic plans and goals are based on one … [Read more...]

Your Conference Needs More Joyful Silence

joyful-silence by Pam Lau

Most conferences emphasize the spoken word. Usually, the aim of a conference is to provide stimulating speakers, fun entertainment, engaging networking, new business leads, great music and healthy food. The conference experience is typically geared to an extrovert, Type-A Personality. But how often do we use the power of silence and solitude in a conference experience? How frequently do we encourage contemplative thought? How common is it for the conference to provide opportunities for … [Read more...]