May 21, 2014 by Jeff Hurt
Most conferences are so safe.
Yawn! So boring…so tame! Contagious yawn, setting off a chain reaction of conference meeting yawns.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think that conferences are supposed to be boring. But most are! Big yawn, time to sleep.
What if your next conference was an adventure?
Weren’t conferences created to be places of transformation? A place where you go to meet like-minded individuals, story share, meld souls, contribute passions, solve problems and get inspired.
Wasn’t your annual meeting supposed to be life-changing? A place where your attendees are afraid to miss because they might miss out on something?
Of course the answer is a screaming yes!
So why are our conferences so ordinary and plain?
“Fortune favors the bold,” is a statement from the ancient Greek philosopher, soldier and historian Thucydides. He is dubbed the “father of scientific history” due to his strict standards of gathering evidence and analyzing cause and effect. He never referenced the Greek Gods.
Thucydides wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War which recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens. He is also known as the father of political realism for his studies on nations, human nature, massacres and war.
This man, who studied relationships between nations, created the phrase “Fortune favors the bold.” His analysis of war and humans pointed to the fact that those who are courageous and bold, win.
The motto, “Who dares, wins,” has its roots in Thucydides’ philosophy of fortune favoring the bold.
Those that plan conferences and meetings can learn something from Thucydides philosophy! It’s time to be bold and brave.
Typically, most conference planning teams are not lacking in new ideas. What they do lack is the willingness and the ability to convert those ideas into effective results.
Successful conference organizers look for opportunities. They look both outside and inside for clues to innovative strategies.
One strategy that they embrace is “Refocus and change the conference when you are successful!” That strategy is practically infallible.
When everything is going well. When everybody says, “Don’t rock the boat. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That’s exactly the time when you should say, “Let’s improve it!”
If you don’t improve it, it will go downhill fast.
Very few organizations see their successful conference as a call to action!
We need to look at change as a potential opportunity instead of a threat.
It seems obvious that “Those that dare, win” is linked to “going over the top” rather than crouching in the fox hole.
In the end, planning a conference is not a job for those who want to hide in the office behind Excel spreadsheets and BEOs. It’s time for meeting professionals to get gutsy, even if it seems a bit daunting at first.
We have to remember that in the end, our conferences should be transformational, not work as usual.
Qui audet adipiscitur! That’s Latin for “Who Dares, Wins.”
How do you convince executives that their successful conference is a call to action to change? Who in your organization should really work on creating an innovative conference experience?
Filed Under: Event Planning
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *