Sometimes, we just have to stop using old-school thinking.
We have to move beyond this thought, “Well, it’s worked for us in the past so it must be the right thing to do now or in the future.” Some of our thinking is out of context with the today’s world.
When it comes to conference planning, we need a new hat, a new attitude and a new dress to give Patti Labelle a nod. We need new thinking. We need healthier MindShifts.
Three More Conference MindShifts
Mindset #6: Our conference growth is directly related to our customers’ consumption of our content.
The more information we can consume. The more we know. NOT!
Antidote: Meeting Mindshift #6 – Growing conference participants grow other participants.
Those conference participants that seek professional growth, subsequently help grow other conference customers. Conversely, those conference attendees that just want to consume, well, they consume your programs, information, your time, resources and energy without any positive results. Consumers look for what they can take from the conference and others. We must minimize the impact of consumers and invest in developers—the growth participants. It’s better to invest in a few who will reinvest in others than to invest in many who may never reinvest in anyone nor invest in progress. If not, your conference becomes stuck in a consumption mindset–a status quo bottleneck trying to deliver more of everything to everyone so that I get mine and you don’t get yours.
Mindset #7: Our conference planning process must adhere to rigid deadlines, content submission processes and established procedures.
Many of us have set self-imposed deadlines and a process to meet our own internal clocks of what we think is appropriate. We have to check off our tasks on our schedule because that’s what really matters. Again, that’s stinkin’ thinking!
Antidote: Meeting MindShift #7 – Encourage and invite provocative conference questions.
When the conference planning process is rigidly structured and we are overwhelmed with dense data, we can stifle and constrain our creative discourse. We have to allow for time for tough questions when we present plans of action. This can lead to enriched thinking, unscripted yet insightful answers and increased confidence to proceed. We need to foster questions like:
- What are the top two or three things that must go right if we proceed with these plans?
- What if…
- What’s next…
Mindset #8: The board room discourse and decisions reveal what’s best for all conference stakeholders.
Frequently, we give more credit to what is said in the board room than what our true customers tell us. We have to help the board room understand what makes our real customers tick!
Antidote: Meeting MindShift #8 – The hallways often reveal more than the board room.
What you hear in the hallways is often a better indicator of your conference than what is said in the boardroom. I’m not suggesting that your conference planning team isn’t honest in your leadership meetings. Too often we don’t observe participant behavior or listen to their discussions. They are more direct and relaxed in the hallways, in common areas, or anywhere a cup of coffee is shared at the event.
What are the challenges with shifting to these new conference MindShifts? What other toxic thinking do we need to avoid with our conference planning?