May 5, 2016 by Jeff Hurt
Antidote: a substance that can counteract a form of poisoning (and in the case of conferences, ingrained, fixed, established methods of thinking).
An antidote neutralizes or prevents something harmful, damaging or dangerous. Some antidotes require antivenom used to treat a lethal situation.
Many conference planning teams need antidotes to their panacea outdated thinking processes. They need new conference mindshifts. These conference mindshifts can serve as antivenom to prevent contaminated, entrenched and lethal ways of thinking.
Read about the first two conference mindsets and their antidote mindshifts here.
They antidote mindshifts take time, skill and practice to implement and adopt. Ultimately, they will thwart outdated, ineffective and common yet unsuccessful conference methods as they leverage new opportunities.
How do you know if this is true for your event?
Your conference leaders persist in using methods that are not relevant to their own emerging leaders and new(er) customers. Too often leaders draw lines in the sand on non-essential issues in an effort to protect their past traditions. These leaders allow traditions to hinder their ability to humbly assess their conference’s effectiveness. Additionally, they allow traditions to trump the future trajectory of their growth demographic.
Conference organizers should not consent to a cultural elitism that hinders passing the torch to a new generation of leaders and customers. If your conference leaders love the way you plan and execute past conferences more than your target customers and emerging leaders, they love the wrong things.
Loving the wrong conference things—like customer satisfaction, offering something for everyone, legacy traditions (Mindset #3), the past including past successes, the destination city and the way it’s always been done—usually hinders the conference’s growth.
Conference leaders that love what is good, including their context, their mission, and the next generation to suggest just a few, move the conference in the right direction. Conference leadership should always be reforming and improving the event. They should humbly look at it and assess its ability to reach people—its stakeholders and customers—and its intended purpose.
We utilize templates to fast track a process or technique. Too often, we defer to a template instead of investing time into the hard thinking, focus, deep understanding and development of wise insights that are required to grow our event.
We can’t skip the hard work of asking the right and difficult questions regarding our conference planning processes and data. Using someone else’s stencil may actually lead us astray especially when we don’t understand the issue enough to customize the solution for our context. Sometimes templates create outdated tactics, stale ideas and reactionary solutions. While templates may provide a rapid course of action, they frequently lead to flawed plans that don’t identify the actual issues and opportunities that should be addressed.
Why do so many conference planning teams return to past processes and expect different results? Why do we fight against new conference planning methods, especially when we have no experience or data that they will fail?
Filed Under: Event Planning
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