The demands of our 21st Century conference participants mandate that we change our traditional event experience.
Today’s workforce requires that our participants interact, think and work in collaborative ways. Yet our conferences persistently promote expert-directed, one-way passive monologues and panel dialogues.
Our conferences continue to resemble the routines of the 19th and 20th century school. Our own models actually inhibit our participants’ authentic learning. We have to break free from some of these infectious conference learning myths.
Hat tips to authors Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, Professor Terry Doyle, Dr. John Medina, and Allison Zmuda.
What Conferences Really Offer
Why do people attend conferences? What are they really expecting from attending our events?
Our attendees may state that they want information. In reality they want relevant takeaways that can apply immediately.
They may state that they want networking. And what they really want are connections with like-minded individuals that have successfully navigated the maze of change, innovation and tradition.
They may state they are seeking education. And they are looking for unique learning experiences with their peers. They want to discover new ways of thinking, new skills and new behaviors that will help them succeed.
Disrupting Our Own Conference Models
Our conferences must move away from the acquisition of knowledge and skills as our primary offering. We have to shift from the lecture as the primary information delivery tool. Why? Because it causes us to compete with the best information delivery tool today—the internet. And we’ll lose that battle!
We have to create new conference experiences that foster connections with content and each other. We can’t uphold the standard speed networking or reception as our attendees’ primary connection experience.
We must refocus our learning environments with our participants’ best interest in mind. This might mean that we need more space instead of what the room-space capacity charts state.
We must design formal and informal learning experiences that allow attendees to develop connections. For it’s only then that our participants can:
- collaboratively tackle complex adaptable challenges
- communicate new and innovative ideas
- create partnerships with unlikely allies and diverse people
- imagine new possibilities
- and pursue their lingering questions and doubts.
When we set our vision on changing old models to accommodate 21st century practices, then our conferences truly succeed.
How Do We Transition? Attend This Webinar on March 3, 2016
So how do we make this transition?
Attend this March 3, 2016 Webinar: Breaking Free Of Conference Infectious Learning Myths to discover more.
Register now! Note: You’ll have to create a profile first if you want to register. We promise not to sell or distribute your information.
After attending this session, participants will be able to:
- Connect how the demands on 21st Century professionals require a shift in the way conference attendees are expected to participate, think and interact with others in the real world and thus how we plan and organize our events
- Discuss how the impact of our current conference models practices, policies and structures impact our attendees and why we need to establish and adopt some basic conference learning principles.
- Communicate new conference realities that break free from traditional learning and networking myths.
Important: Originally this webinar was scheduled for March 2, 2016 and due to schedule conflicts was rescheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2 pm Eastern. If you can’t make this time, you can view the recording later once it’s posted.
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