The Greatest Conference Story Never Told

discussionatthetable by digital internet

It’s time to bring back the luncheon table at your next conference. When attendees break bread together at the table, community is born. It’s where the stories of our profession, our lives, our past and our future are shared, retold, relived and remembered. Too many conferences have made a catastrophic mistake. In the name of conference budget cuts, we have removed attendee gatherings around a meal. We have created sterile, exhausted attendee experiences. The result: the greatest … [Read more...]

Feeding Our Need For Community And Connection

Reach Out by David Ip

We're living in a time where we've never been more connected with others than we are now. Yet most of us feel pretty disconnected from our personal and professional networks. Why? Because we were not hardwired for digital connection. We are wired for face-to-face connections. Maslow Had It Wrong: Connection Is A Primary Need You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s a psychology theory that states people are motivated to achieve five basic needs. It starts with … [Read more...]

Delivering Community And Connections at Conferences

Photo by Steve Pate-Newberry, SPN Photography

Does your conference have connexity? Not sure what that means? Or even if your conference has it? Well, the success of your face-to-face meetings depends on it! Connexity Happens When… Connexity happens when community and connecting collide! In a good way of course. Your attendees crave these two things: They want to connect with others (and learn from and with each other). And they want to belong to a community. When you blend connecting with community you create … [Read more...]

From Strangers To Friends: Bridging Attendee Loneliness With Conference Community

2014.04.01_Lonely Grandma at the Cry Event

Everybody needs to know Somebody who cares. Just a friendly face You can trust to be there. Are you afraid to be known And not be a stranger? Everyone’s connected but no one is connecting The human element has long been missing Tell me, have you seen it? Have you seen it? Alone by Armin Van Burren (feat. Lauren Evans) Watch the Alone video. Are Your Attendees Alone? How often do the above lyrics apply to your attendees’ conference experience? What will it take for … [Read more...]

Five Colossal Rotten Ways To Torpedo Your Conference Growth

2014.03.19_Missile near White Sands

Very few of us want to see our conferences grow and expand. Right? Similarly, very few of us are willing to make changes to the conference agenda, planning process and attendee experience all in the name of growth. Right again! We do everything we can to avoid change. So if change is associated with conference growth, which in turn means more work, we say phooey on conference growth. Let’s just be like we’ve always been. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Crash And Boom Here are five … [Read more...]

Why Your Conference Should Adopt The Healthy Family Metaphor

2014.03.17_Family Gathering

Did your parents expect you to eventually get a job and your own place to live? Mine did. Did they spend their entire lives loving you, teaching you and training you to eventually make your own decisions? Mine did. Sure, my parents didn’t want me to move across the globe and never see them again. But they did expect me to grow up, take care of myself, get a job, move out, pay my own bills and eventually start a family. I bet your parents did something very similar! Healthy Families … [Read more...]

The Neuroscience of Networking: Why Networking Matters To Your Conference

2014.02.18_Mentoring 411 Oct 19, 2011 #1

Your brain is passionate about one thing. So much so that when it is not thinking about a problem or focused on something specific, it defaults to doing this one thing. Neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Lieberman says that our brains have a passion of their own. "We know this because our brains seem to devote all of its spare time to this one thing," says Lieberman. Thinking About Thinking So what is it that our brains really like to do? What does the brain do when it is not focused on a … [Read more...]

Home For The Holidays? Stay On The Lookout For Conference Ideas

2013.12.18_Starved rock fireplace

Some families have everyone in close proximity. They share day-to-day life experiences all the time. As one with family spread from coast to coast, I have to admit, sometimes I envy that proximal edge. But when families like mine board planes, trains and automobiles to spend the holidays together, it's quite a celebration. Interesting, but as I reminisced about our family gatherings, I started to see similarities with the conference celebration. 1. Anticipation In the weeks leading up to … [Read more...]