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...]

Changes In The Information Cycle Are Driving Conference Education Reform

Information-cycle by d'n'c'

Conferences (and associations) used to be the go-to source for information and content about a profession or industry. Today, the tools of content creation and distribution actually rest in the hands of individuals. Anyone can create and share content. While not everyone wants to be a content creator, everyone has an interest in organizing and packing information in their own, unique way. We Relate Differently To Information Today Today, we relate to information differently. We can receive … [Read more...]

Most Association And Conference Beliefs About Attendee Learning Are Wasted Efforts

WastedHours by Robert Bruce Murray III

The empirical research on how we learn and remember shows that… …Most of what we know as truth about learning is nothing more than wasted effort! The learning opportunities that we offer to our customers and members are based on outdated theory, lore, past experiences and gut instincts. And the empirical evidence says much of our education offerings are nothing more than wasted effort and time! Our Intuition About Learning Is Wrong “People generally are going about learning in the wrong … [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...]

Conference Execution As Attendee Learning

2014.04.28_Conference NWX2012

Most conference organizers believe that the delivery of information in an efficient, timely, productive manner is the key to attendee satisfaction, success and financial stability. We focus primarily on the efficient execution of delivery of content. But in today’s knowledge economy, that is not enough. The focus on controlling information flow, creating a one-way and top-down hierarchical pre-planned well-executed logistical conference experience won’t cut it. The conference mind-set that … [Read more...]

Bringing Authentic Conference Conversations To Life

2014.04.16_What do you think they are talking about

Peer conversations are more important to your conference than you know. I’m not talking about one of your attendees serving as a speaker talking at the audience. That’s a lecture. I’m referring to peer conversations in pairs, threesomes and small groups. You know when it’s happening at conferences because the rooms are buzzing with discussions. Everyone is talking to someone else. The Industrial Conference Is Dead Most of us still depend upon and expect an outdated model of conferences: … [Read more...]

Conference Education Should Drive Business Growth

2014.04.10_week 13 - Growth

The only reason that conference education sessions exist is to drive a business’ outcomes. (paraphrase author Rita Smith.) Ok, sure some conference education sessions exist for personal development, hobbies or pleasure. But most of us attend conferences to learn and grow professionally. Yet, in many cases, the business, meaning an attendees’ employer and business, is the primary customer of a conference’s education. That business paid for the employee to attend the event. And they expect … [Read more...]