Lessons From Bruno Mars on Audience Engagement

2014.08.20_Hands in the air - in concert CC by Martin Fisch, on Flickr

What can Bruno Mars teach us about audience engagement for our ballroom experiences? Plenty. Earlier this week, I witnessed 7,000 participants (from Linksters to Boomers) stand, clap, sing and dance for 75 minutes at his sold-out Denver Moonshine Jungle concert. If you saw his performance at the 2014 Super Bowl halftime, you already know the enormous talent that’s packed into this five-foot tall young man. The dude is a triple threat! Emotional Journeys Improve the Experience  Bruno … [Read more...]

Testimonials Don’t Convert Conference Prospects

2014.July_Chaos theory!  Teoría del caos! by Jonathan Emmaunel Flores Tarello, on Flickr

You've heard the litany: Testimonials are great third party endorsements. Using testimonials will increase your conference attendance. Yadda Yadda It’s all bull. Two big reasons you should do it anyway. 1. Smart testimonials will make people pause. Testimonials can give marketers what they want...a better chance of being heard and considered. Our lives are cluttered with emails and advertisements. So much comes through every day that we’ve become a nation of skimmers. A well … [Read more...]

The Isaac Advantage

2014.06.11_no parking

Conference organizers who are in it for the long run know that partnerships really matter. In my mind, the best partnerships are the ones where your supplier is doing everything they can to help you win. If you’re strictly looking at them as an expense that needs to be cut, you’re probably working with the wrong “partner” - or possibly for the wrong employer. During a consulting gig a few years ago, I learned about an AV guy named Isaac. Isaac was so good that one association would follow … [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...]

Snack Bite-Size Learning Rules The Roost At Conferences

Blogger Karla Gutierrez gives five reasons why bite-size learning works at Shift's eLearning blog. Here's one key point all conference organizers and speakers should know and implement: Chunk Content In 10 Min Sections Bite-size learning as well as bite-size instruction improves an attendee's psychological engagement. It prevents cognitive overload and mental burnout. It also encourages us to process information and consider its application. It is impossible for us to focus on any one … [Read more...]

Innovation Starts With Observing Your Conference Attendees In Action


With today’s tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it says author Steven Berlin Johnson. Some environments and workplace cultures squelch innovation while others breed it he adds. So what do conference organizers need in order to embrace innovation in their conferences, meetings and events? The Innovators’ DNA authors identified five behaviors—associating, questioning, observing, idea-networking and experimenting—needed … [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...]

Escape Your Conference Comfort Zone To Become Happier And Smarter


Conference organizers, whatever scares you when planning your event, plan to do it now! That’s right, run to your fear and escape your conference comfort zone! Why? Busting out of your conference comfort zone leads to a longer, happier, smarter life with increased confidence, gratification and satisfaction, to paraphrase author Ken Budd. Boredom Kills Too much monotony in your conference planning strategy can actually decrease your life expectancy. That’s right! Doing the same thing, … [Read more...]