For years I’ve been a fan of bringing in more outside voices to make mainstage sessions more valuable and deliver more impact. While keynote speakers can still be a significant attendance driver, I think 2023 is the year to resurrect the industry panel. What you don’t want to do is go back to the same old playbook — four or five industry experts sitting at an elevated head table. We can and must do better by mixing it up. Next-generation panels will incorporate these design principles: A … [Read more...]
Elevate Your Conference Education
There’s never been a better time than right now to reimagine your education programming for your first in-person conference in some time, for many—in over two years. All those changes you’ve dreamed of trying can now become a reality. Conference education sessions have long been considered the main course of the event, yet typically they reek of status quo. That simply won’t work anymore. Sense-Making During the last 20 months we have all been a part of a global digital experiment and we … [Read more...]
Invest in Your Speakers to Grow Your Value Proposition
The bread and butter of conferences is concurrent education sessions. Keynote speakers and main-room experiences are pivotal for bringing the community together and sharing key messaging, but attendees expect—and deserve—transformational learning (change in ideas, attitudes and behaviors) from curated, relevant and problem-centric educational sessions. Why do we often leave this most critical and valuable aspect of the conference experience in the hands of speakers who are not prepared to … [Read more...]
Top Tips for Preparing Your Presenters
Imagine how you might do your job differently if your performance and compensation were evaluated based on overall session attendance and industry presenter ratings at your annual conference. While this notion may seem a bit extreme, conference education systems need increased accountability, which in turn leads to a competitive advantage. We all need improved systems for: Programming thought-provoking and relevant content. Recruiting or selecting industry presenters who will draw a … [Read more...]
My Presentation Is Fine—It’s The Audience That Doesn’t Get It!
“My presentation is fine. It’s the audience’s fault if they don’t get it?” “Why do I need to change the way I present? My lecture has worked for years. I get great scores and reviews.” I’m sure you’ve heard statements like this. Maybe you’ve even said something similar yourself. So, why should speakers change how they present at your conference? The Lecture—The Presenters’ And Learners’ Desert Mirage The standard didactic lecture…It’s been used successfully for years. Right? All that … [Read more...]
Getting More Value from Conference Keynote Speakers
Not long ago, becoming a professional speaker was a third step in a thought leaders career path. Many built their expertise in an industry or function, shifted to consulting and then wrote a book to launch their speaking career. In today’s digital age, the path to creating a thought leader platform, leading to speaking gigs, is shifting to a second career play. This is good news for planners. More quality options result in a buyer’s market...now and in the years ahead. What to Look For Keynote … [Read more...]
Creating Powerful Panels That Engage Your Audience
Panel discussions are still a commonly used format for conference organizers. They’re easy to program and put the kids in the show, but rarely add learning value to the paying participants. Some of the reasons panels fail to connect include: Lack of preparation and take-charge leadership in the learning design. Watered down content due to general vs. relevant topics and opinions. Low learning value equivalent to a lecture. (Instead of a monologue lecture, panels are often … [Read more...]
Too Many Technical Presentations Suffer From POOH!
Sutro Baths: Vertical Poop by Andy Morris Your conference’s technical presentations suffer from POOH*! “Huh?” you ask. “What are you talking about?” Too often, and I mean way too often, our conferences are full of technical presentations that offer nothing more than POOH! For some reason, we falsely believe that technical presentations don’t have to follow good adult learning strategies. But that’s totally wrong! The Truth About POOH! Consider the following: Make up your bottom hole … [Read more...]
- Next Page »