Conferences that Work

Leadership for meetings

Conferences that Work

What might leadership for meetings look like? Let’s turn to Harold Jarche for inspiration: “Those doing the work are often the only ones who really understand the context. Leadership is helping build the structure and then protecting the space to do meaningful work.

2019 183

The top educational meeting format

Conferences that Work

What’s an Ideal Meeting? April 2018, Meetings and Conventions Magazine Do you incorporate participatory sessions into your events?

Being Present in the Age of the Mind Outside the Brain

Conferences that Work

The other day, Celia and I were walking in Boston’s beautiful Arnold Arboretum when she asked me who’d responded to an email I’d sent. When I pulled out my phone to answer her question, she said she felt she was walking with a third person, a stranger.

Handling a meeting question that isn’t

Conferences that Work

We’ve all experienced the meeting question that isn’t. A session presenter or moderator asks for questions and someone stands up and starts spouting their own opinions. A concluding question (if they even have one) is little more than an excuse for their own speech.

2019 222

A Practical Guide to Measuring Event Success

Can you measure event ROI? 3 in 5 marketers can't. Learn how with this free ROI model.

We are biased against truly creative event design

Conferences that Work

We are biased against creativity. Though most people say they admire creativity, research indicates we actually prefer inside -the-box thinking.

Five Reasons to Change Conferences

Conferences that Work

Here’s my article “ Five Reasons to Change Conferences “ , published in the December 2018, NSA Speaker magazine.

2018 233

Bringing people together across divides

Conferences that Work

How can we bring people together across divides? In April 2017, I posted the following to the NCDD-DISCUSSION list. (

2019 176

Improve meetings by de-emphasizing old-school status

Conferences that Work

You can improve meetings by de-emphasizing status. Apart from my first book , I haven’t written much about status at events. It’s time to revisit this important topic. I think about status at events as the relative levels of proclaimed or perceived social value assigned to or assumed by attendees.

2019 194

Many “experiential” events are just razzle-dazzle

Conferences that Work

Beware of “experiential” events that are just razzle-dazzle. “Experiential” has become a buzzword to use to describe hip events. Instead of listening to speakers, you’re going to have — wait for it — experiences ! Sounds so much better, doesn’t it?

2018 221

Scenes from a Participate! Workshop and Solution Room

Conferences that Work

[link] 40-seconds of highlights from the Participate! workshop and Solution Room I recently facilitated for the New York State Bar Association.

2018 244

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

When association leadership loses its way

Conferences that Work

Is it OK for a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit association to make large profits, pay its four top executives well over $1M per year, and yet do little for its members?

2018 234

Making large scale change happen

Conferences that Work

I recently came across some principles for “ making large scale change happen “ I think they’re worth sharing. Here’s the text version: Read the full article at Conferences That Work The post Making large scale change happen appeared first on Conferences That Work.

2019 170

AlphaZero, machine learning, and the future of work

Conferences that Work

Not long ago I wrote about the end of decent paid jobs and the need for basic income. A startling recent advance in machine learning has only heightened my concerns.

2019 187

Have I Met You Before? Three ways to minimize embarrassment when meeting people

Conferences that Work

An embarrassing incident I was hanging out at the Marlboro South Pond Regatta , a whimsical affair where local sailors of all stripes and abilities casually “race” around a few buoys in the lake, sometimes stopping to chat mid-race with each other or watch our beautiful loons.

2018 253

Aim to serve rather than please

Conferences that Work

Although I’m simultaneously overwhelmed and underwhelmed by the thousands of books and videos about “leadership” pumped out every year, a recent quote struck a chord: “You’ll do more good if you aim to serve more than you aim to please.” ” — S.

Nobody is born ahead of their time

Conferences that Work

After watching Hannah Gadsby ‘s stunning show Nanette — which I highly recommend — here’s a small piece worth sharing. Gadsby starts with Vincent Van Gogh, looking at how we’ve come to lionize the idea of misunderstood genius. Born ahead of his time,” she says. What a load of s**t.

2018 222

The hive mind will see you now

Conferences that Work

[link] Check out the above video. The hive mind will see you now. In his post “ The fourth cycle of the hive mind (and what to do about it) ” Seth Godin explores how advances in computers are changing our world. The first three of his revolutionary cycles are well established, the fourth is now arriving. Cycles one through three introduced calculation and data storage , connection , and shifting place and time. Above all, Seth’s fourth cycle adds prediction.

2019 125

Today’s schoolrooms can teach adults the power of positive sharing

Conferences that Work

For years I’ve been reading to 3rd & 4th grade students at the Marlboro Elementary School , my amazing local public school. It’s a tiny school that currently serves around 100 pre-kindergarten – 8th grade children (4 – 13 years old).

2018 183

Seating while Eating at Meetings

Conferences that Work

It’s no Comedians in Cars getting Coffee , but here’s my draft script for Seating while Eating at Meetings.

Learning in community at conferences

Conferences that Work

Legendary Apple designer Jony Ive explains how learning in community helped Apple make the iPhone: “When we genuinely look at a problem it’s an opportunity to learn together, and we discover something together. We know that learning in community is powerful.

What’s most important about an event, the gift or the wrapping?

Conferences that Work

While writing about seeing the gifts in people and events I remembered one of my favorite scenes in Love Actually (2003).

2018 214

Is paid influencer marketing ethical in the event industry?

Conferences that Work

Paid influencer marketing is spreading to the event industry, and I doubt that it’s an ethical practice. Last week I received the following voice mail (identifying details have been bleeped; transcript below.). link].

2016 333

Guaranteeing audience engagement at your events

Conferences that Work

Most people won’t ask questions at meetings. So how can you get authentic audience engagement at your events? In a thoughtful article “ Audience Engagement – at the Heart of Meetings “, Pádraic Gilligan writes: “…We all want audience engagement so why doesn’t it take place?…While

2016 297

What’s the best learning model for conference sessions?

Conferences that Work

We don’t usually think about the learning models we employ during conference sessions, and I believe our events would be better if we did. Conventional conferences assume a ready supply of experts to whom we listen while they cover the learning that has been advertised at their sessions.

2016 300

The meeting industry’s biggest dirty secret

Conferences that Work

There are some things that the meeting industry doesn’t like to talk about in public. For example: Revenue models. Who actually paid for all that sybaritic F&B? You’ll never know.). Clients from hell. They might figure out it’s them I was talking about and I need the business.).

2017 252

The creative event design tool that all #eventprofs should use

Conferences that Work

Here’s a powerful tool you can use to generate creative event designs. You can use this tool for every aspect of event design. Stylists working on the look and feel of an event often use it to stimulate fresh thinking about the venue, the décor, the lighting, the food and beverage, entertainment, and so on. Rarely, however, is this tool used to design events that creatively incorporate, illuminate, and support core desires and outcomes for the meeting.

22 great iPhone/iPad apps for event professionals

Conferences that Work

Two years have passed since the last update of my favorite iPad/iPhone apps for event professionals. Apps continue to be born, evolve, and, sometimes, die—so it’s time for my latest list of event professionals’ great apps! Read the full article at Conferences That Work.

2017 250

An innovative conference competition format

Conferences that Work

My Dutch friend and expert moderator, Jan Jaap In der Maur , recently shared an innovative format for an in-conference pitch competition he devised for the Conventa Crossover Conference , in Ljubljana, Slovenia: “There were also the Conventa Crossover Awards.

Four reasons why traditional conferences are obsolete

Conferences that Work

Previously, I’ve described three major trends that make traditional conference formats obsolete: No longer knowing in advance what attendees want to learn ; The rise of online ; and. The massive change in how we learn what we need to know to do our jobs. Here’s a fourth.

2016 280

Create memorable learning experiences and connections at simple workshops

Conferences that Work

I often design and facilitate workshops for association members who mostly haven’t met before. The desired outcomes are for each participant to gain useful and relevant professional insights, and to make significant new connections.

2018 169

Three better alternatives to the conference lecture

Conferences that Work

Ah, the ubiquitous conference one-hour lecture. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Actually I don’t need to do that since Donald Bligh listed them all in his classic book What’s The Use Of Lectures? first published in 1972 ! Rather than reiterate the shortcomings of broadcast-style teaching, I’ll go positive and describe three superior alternatives to sitting through an expert’s non-stop utterances.

Charles, Lawrence, David Bowie, and me

Conferences that Work

My first public gig as a musician was at David Bowie’s Beckenham Arts Lab. Read the full article at Conferences That Work.

Why you should run The Solution Room at your next event

Conferences that Work

The Solution Room is rapidly becoming a popular meeting plenary.

2018 179

The architecture of assembly

Conferences that Work

“Architecture sets the stage for our lives; it creates the world we inhabit and shapes how we relate to one another. In a time in which democracy is under increasing pressure in different parts of the world, it is time to rethink the architecture of assembly.”

2017 245

Should presenter contracts include a no brown M&Ms rider?

Conferences that Work

Van Halen ‘s 1982 World Tour performance contract contained a provision calling for them to be provided backstage with a bowl of M&Ms from which all the brown candies had been removed.

How to trash your brand

Conferences that Work

If I could completely avoid flying American Airlines I would. Not because of the airline’s mediocre rankings in on-time arrivals, lost baggage, fees, and customer satisfaction. After all, there are some airlines that are even worse (Spirit, I’m looking at you ).

2018 156

How to help meeting design clients figure out what they really want and need

Conferences that Work

Great — a client who doesn’t know what they want! Recently, a client asked for help designing a new conference. Thirty minutes of discussion with three stakeholders revealed they hadn’t yet settled on the event’s specific purpose, scope, and format. From my perspective this is actually a great problem to have. Because most clients engage me after they are committed to programs and logistics that are not optimum for what they’re trying to accomplish!

Nine conference mythodologies

Conferences that Work

Long ago, consultant Tom Gilb coined the term “mythodology” to describe erroneous but commonly held beliefs about how something should be done. Here are nine mythodologies about conferences. Mythodology: We know what our attendees want to learn about. Reality : No, you don’t. At least half the sessions programmed at traditional conferences are not what attendees want. Mythodology: Event socials are a good way to meet people.

How to inspire transformational learning

Conferences that Work

Why do some learning experiences stay burning in our brains and others fade into oblivion? Read the full article at Conferences That Work.

2017 214

Why experiential learning is superior to every other kind

Conferences that Work

Why is experiential learning superior to every other kind? In a word: feedback. Jerry Weinberg explains simply and concisely. “Why is reading or writing something different from doing something? First consider reading. Reading is (usually) a solitary activity, with no feedback.

2017 210

Six ways to keep attendees comfortable and improve your event

Conferences that Work

While stuck in cramped seats during a six-hour Boston to San Francisco flight recently, my wife gently pointed out that I had become quite grumpy. She helped me notice that my lack of body comfort was affecting my mood.

2017 222