Conferences that Work

Something is rotten in the state of meeting industry education

Conferences that Work

Over the last five years I’ve heard increasing concern from the meeting professionals community about the deterioration of the quality of our national industry conferences. A recent thread on the MECO community (a great resource for meeting professionals since 2006) describes numerous recent basic logistical failings, and points to what I see as symptoms of fundamental problems with meeting industry associations at the national level.

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.).

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].

The UnExpo Experiment

Conferences that Work

During my 20+ years as an IT consultant and developer, I fell in with a delightful international crowd of software testers: those all-important people responsible for the impossible task of making sure that software works the way it’s supposed to. Fun fact: the testing community often uses my term “peer conferences” for their get-togethers, due to a chat about meeting design I had with tester James Bach at the 2004 Amplifying Your Effectiveness conference.)

2018 100

9 Simple Steps to Master Social Media for Events

The Definitive Guide to Social Media Event Marketing

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 249

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 208

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 182

Two scientists walk into a conference…

Conferences that Work

One of the most satisfying outcomes of the peer conferences I design and facilitate is how they bring people together who would never otherwise have met — and in doing so change the world. This is obviously important, but why do world-changing connections seldom occur at conventional conferences ?

2018 113

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.

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 210

Stretching

Conferences that Work

Do you know what happens when you stretch a rubber band? After it’s stretched, it never quite goes back to quite the length it had before. Read the full article at Conferences That Work No related posts. Facilitating Change active learning elastic band implicit learning rubber band stretch stretching

2018 107

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 182

Does the world of events need more exposure to the new?

Conferences that Work

Most of the event technology I’ve been using for the last quarter century is hundreds of years old. It works incredibly well. So, when you’re designing your next event, bear in mind this observation of Seth Godin’s: You might not need more exposure to the new. Instead, it might pay to re-see what’s already around you. Seth Godin, What do you see? Re-seeing technology is hard because technology is anything that was invented after you were born.

2018 123

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.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

The need for early detection of targeted attacks and data breaches is driving the expansion of new and existing SIEM deployments.

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.

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 194

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.

Create Powerful Meetings Instead of Power-over Meetings

Conferences that Work

All meetings incorporate power relationships that fundamentally affect their dynamics and potential. Traditional conferences unconsciously promote and sustain power imbalances between the “speakers” at the front of the room and the audience.

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

To build connection and engagement at events — give up control!

Conferences that Work

How can we build connection and engagement with people with whom we work? My wise consultant friend Naomi Karten tells a short story about a client’s unexpected reaction.

2017 208

The best way to fundamentally improve your dull conference

Conferences that Work

I’ve been attending conferences for over forty years. Most of them are dull and largely irrelevant. This seems to be the norm, because when you talk to attendees you find they set a low bar for satisfaction, e.g. “I t’s OK if I learn one new thing a day, oh, and if I make a useful connection or two that would be great! ” For twenty years I assumed this was how conferences were supposed to be.

2018 123

Three ways to make it easier for attendees to participate

Conferences that Work

How do we get people to participate at meetings? We know that participants — people who are active learners — learn more, retain more, and retain more accurately than passive attendees. They are also far more likely to make valuable connections with their peers during the event.

2017 194

Avoid this common mistake when planning meeting programs

Conferences that Work

Although I have good reasons to champion meeting designs where the participants get to choose what they want and need to discuss and learn rather than a program committee , there is invariably a place for some predetermined presentations at conferences.

The Secrets Behind Conference Engagement

Conferences that Work

So you’re holding a conference. How are you going to get your audience tuned in and engaged? Read the full article at Conferences That Work.

Why have my Twitter impressions suddenly risen?

Conferences that Work

Something strange is happening in the world of Twitter. For well over a year my average Twitter impressions count has hovered at 2.0K impressions per day. Twitter defines an impression as anytime a Twitter user sees your Tweet.) I’ve never seen that figure deviate by more than 5% (i.e. between 1.9 — 2.1K) for a long time. And then, starting at the beginning of March, I’ve watched my daily impression count steadily rise to 2.7K per day. Every time I check, it’s gone up.

Why meetings are more important than you think

Conferences that Work

As 2017 begins, take a moment to think about meetings in a wider context. OK, a very wide context. “Who am I?” ” We’ve all wondered about some form of this question.

The two must-do steps to hire the best professional help

Conferences that Work

When you need professional help, how do you select the best professionals? Countless experts — such as accountants, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, and meeting planners — will take your money in exchange for advice or services.

2017 195

Help Wanted—Venues for my participation techniques workshops!

Conferences that Work

The success of my last request for workshop help has inspired me to ask for more.

2016 210

When event covenants collide—a story

Conferences that Work

I was facilitating a one-day workshop for 24 college presidents. At the start, we agreed to follow six covenants , including the freedom to ask questions at any time , and a commitment to stay on schedule.

Events 214

Five reasons NOT to use a Conferences That Work meeting design

Conferences that Work

I’ve been promoting the Conferences That Work meeting format for so long, that some people assume I think it’s the right choice for every meeting. Well, it’s not. Here are (drum roll!)

2016 211

Practice what you teach

Conferences that Work

When I’m presenting and sharing my conviction that experiential learning is far superior to broadcast learning, it would be pretty hypocritical for me to lecture. It would also be pretty ineffective.

2017 174

The interpersonal dynamics of silent retreats

Conferences that Work

Can meetings where no one says a word exhibit significantly different interpersonal dynamics? After completing my third Vipassana silent meditation retreat (this one at the headquarters of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts), I’m gonna say: yes they can!

2017 168

When consensus is dangerous

Conferences that Work

Imagine a group of people who need to make a decision about something. As the size of the group increases, the chance that everyone will be happy with what is decided falls exponentially.

2016 201

How to create amazing conference programs that don’t waste attendee time

Conferences that Work

Do your conference programs include pre-scheduled sessions you belatedly discover were of little interest or value to most attendees? If so, you’re wasting significant stakeholder and attendee time and money — your conference is simply not as good as it could be. Now imagine you could learn how to routinely create conference programs that reliably include the sessions attendees actually want and need ?

The Conference Arc — the key components of every successful participation-rich conference

Conferences that Work

Traditional conferences focus on a hodgepodge of pre-determined sessions punctuated with socials, surrounded by short welcomes and closings. Such conference designs treat openings and closings as perfunctory traditions, perhaps pumped up with a keynote or two, rather than key components of the conference design. Unlike traditional conferences, participant-driven and participation-rich peer conferences have a conference arc with three essential components: Beginning , Middle , and End.

Wisdom from International Facilitation Week!

Conferences that Work

Gosh, how could I have overlooked International Facilitation Week ? Dontcha know, there’s a minute, hour, day, week, month, or year for everything these days.)

2016 200

Dealing successfully with event complexity

Conferences that Work

In 1975, I was stricken with viral meningitis while attending a conference in the former Yugoslavia. While spending ten unexpected days recovering flat on my back in a Split hospital, my only reading matter was an English translation of Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching.

2017 178

Lessons From Improv: Make Sure Your Meeting Messages Are Received

Conferences that Work

Want to improve the learning at your meetings? Here’s what I learned from You. No, not you — “ You “! “You” “ You “ is a delightful improv game I played at the Mindful Play, Playful Mind retreat in Mere Point, Maine.