Conferences that Work

How I got here

Conferences that Work

How I got here? Schoolboy days. I have little memory of my earliest formal education though I suspect it has informed my entire life. My mother decided that I should attend London’s Chelsea Froebel School.

2020 170

How to support a community online during covid-19

Conferences that Work

How can you support a community online during covid-19? Over the last few weeks I’ve run numerous online Zoom meetings for support groups and local, social, and professional communities. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about what makes these meetings most useful for participants.

2020 195

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Any questions? Rethinking traditional Q&A

Conferences that Work

How often have you heard “Any questions?” ” at the end of a conference session? Hands rise, and the presenter picks an audience member who asks a question. The presenter answers the question and picks another questioner. The process continues for a few minutes. Simple enough.

2019 340

The meeting industry coronavirus silver lining

Conferences that Work

Despite the terrible impacts of the coronavirus on the meeting industry, there’s a silver lining. Hear me out! There’s no question times are hard. The coronavirus pandemic has already devastated lives and businesses globally, and we don’t know how much worse things will get.

2020 170

Game-Changers 911™: How to Change the Event Game in 2020

Speaker: John Storm, President, BrainStorm Network

In this webinar, we’ll use a sampling of case studies, tools, techniques, and strategic stories to help you identify game-changing opportunities within your company and the world of events, and then brainstorm ways to capitalize on these ideas. Get ready to change your game in 2020!

Eventprofs Happy Hour — Feelings Edition

Conferences that Work

Because we are struggling in a covid-19 world, I’m hosting a special Feelings Edition of the Eventprofs Happy Hour this coming Friday, March 27, 12:00 – 14:00 EDT. From 2011 – 2017 I hosted a weekly online Eventprofs Happy Hour, first on Twitter and then Google Plus.

2020 156

Should meetings be efficient?

Conferences that Work

Should meetings be efficient ? “Yes” say thousands of books on how to improve business meetings. And I agree. But “No”, when we’re taking about most meeting industry events.

2020 170

Why switching to active learning is hard — and worth it

Conferences that Work

A September 2019 research study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences clearly illustrates why switching to active learning is hard — and worth it! Lecturing has been the core modality in our education systems for centuries.

2019 247

Why you should hire curious people

Conferences that Work

Why should you hire curious people? Because the future of work belongs to the neo-generalist. And neo-generalists are intensely curious. Here’s Harold Jarche, explaining the importance of generalists: Wicked problems need neo-generalists. Neo-generalists defy common understanding.

2019 212

Make your entire conference a braindate

Conferences that Work

Why not make your entire conference a braindate? One of Skift’s “ 10 event trends for 2020 ” is networking. The report predicts: “Activities such as braindates that deliver more meaningful connections will become mainstream at events.”

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.

Life lesson: Rescuing the child in the coal cellar

Conferences that Work

What’s your most important life lesson that you wish you learned ten years earlier? Julie Zhou , VP of Product Design at Facebook, asked this question on Twitter last month. What’s your most important life lesson that you wish you learned ten years earlier? Julie Zhuo (@joulee) January 7, 2020.

2020 170

David Adler BizBash Live interview: the best formats for live experiences

Conferences that Work

At BizBash Live DC , BizBash CEO and Founder David Adler and I took the stage at the Ronald Reagan Building for a wide-reaching interview on the best formats for live experiences in front of an invited crowd of several hundred meeting professionals.

2019 218

Share information; don’t hoard it

Conferences that Work

Why would you want to share information, not hoard it? In today’s cutthroat business environment, isn’t exclusive knowledge synonymous with power — and the ability to make money? Well, if you’re a stock trader or house flipper, maybe.

2020 170

Dinner seating — a study

Conferences that Work

Study this 1839 dinner seating layout. What’s wrong with this picture? Read the full article at Conferences That Work The post Dinner seating — a study appeared first on Conferences That Work. No related posts. Event design dinner men only round tables rounds seating seating design

2019 287

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

You can’t make people change. But…

Conferences that Work

“You can’t make people change. But you can create an environment where they choose to.” ” —Seth Godin, Leadership. Change is hard. And you can’t make people change. However, meetings have tremendous potential to change lives.

2019 233

How to run a human spectrogram map

Conferences that Work

Whenever I open a meeting I run a human spectrogram map, allowing participants to quickly discover everyone at the meeting who lives (or works) near them. This is one of the most useful things you can do for a group of people who don’t know each other — and it only takes a few minutes!

2020 170

Q&A with Adrian Segar on Crowdsourcing

Conferences that Work

This (slightly edited) interview by JT Long appeared in the March 2019 issue of Smart Meetings Magazine. What led to writing the book, Conferences that Work ?

2019 271

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.

2018 303

Power in hotel rooms done right!

Conferences that Work

I’m reposting this simple idea for power in hotel rooms from a Facebook post by my friend Kristin Arnold. “Finally!! A smart hotel that put plugs on the head of the bed frame! Way to go Renaissance Atlanta concourse !”

Hotels 253

Unlearning is crucial for change

Conferences that Work

Unlearning is crucial for change. We often think of change as additive. We become wiser by “learning something new”. What we often overlook is that changing our beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions involves unlearning as well as learning.

2020 170

Two free easy ways to create graphics for blog posts and presentations

Conferences that Work

Here are what I think are the two best free easy ways to create graphics for blog posts and presentations if you’re not a graphics wonk. Note: I am not a graphics wonk.) I’ve written over five hundred posts on this blog over the last ten years.

2019 244

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?

A free guide to creating peer conferences

Conferences that Work

The Association for Software Testing (AST) has just issued a free guide to creating peer conferences. I believe the software testing community adopted my term “peer conference” for their get-togethers after a conversation I had with pioneer software tester James Bach in 2004.

2020 170

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 273

What I remember from high school — and why

Conferences that Work

High school feels like a dream. Fifty years later, few distinct memories remain. I’ve only stayed in touch with one friend from those days, so there’s almost no reinforcement from reviewing and remembering the past. And yet there are some experiences that still retain power.

2019 223

How old are you?

Conferences that Work

“How old are you?” ” All of us have wondered about the age of someone we’ve met, but asking this question can be awkward, even during a one-to-one conversation. Making public the ages of hundreds of people in a meeting room — well, that’s even more awkward!

2020 156

Give meeting-goers many options!

Conferences that Work

Today’s meetings need to give meeting-goers many options, not just a few. But this doesn’t mean filling the conference program with every conceivable session topic. To be enjoyable and productive, meetings need white space : free time for attendees to do what they want and need to do.

2019 170

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.

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 263

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 254

The workshop that wasn’t

Conferences that Work

Last week, my friend Traci Browne wrote to me about a workshop that wasn’t. “You’ll love this…I went to a 4 hour morning workshop at this digital conference. The speaker said, this will be interactive because no one wants to listen to me talk for four hours.

2019 207

Event design changes society

Conferences that Work

Event design may be more important than you think. I’m going to argue that event design changes society. And I’ve got legendary communications theorist Marshall McLuhan and computer scientist Alan Kay on my side!

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 245

Introduction to my new book Event Crowdsourcing

Conferences that Work

Here’s a teaser: the introduction to my new book Event Crowdsourcing: Creating Meetings People Actually Want and Need. Interested? Then buy the book ! Curiosity. I’ve always been curious. I’ve always wanted to understand the world I found myself living in.

2019 197

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 267

Are science conferences stuck in the Dark Ages?

Conferences that Work

A recent Wired article argues that “ Science Conferences Are Stuck in the Dark Ages “ Unsurprisingly, I agree — but there’s some light in the darkness! Read the full article at Conferences That Work The post Are science conferences stuck in the Dark Ages?

2020 156

Facilitating change: The power of sharing our experience

Conferences that Work

Sharing our experience of others directly with them can be incredibly powerful. Let me tell you a story…. Not long ago, I was working at a multi-day workshop with a 6-person group that included someone I’ll call D.

2019 184

Stay on time!

Conferences that Work

Stay on time! Though it’s clearly sensible to keep a conference running on schedule, we’ve all attended meetings where rambling presenters, avoidable “technical issues”, incompetent facilitation, and inadequate logistics have made a mockery of the published program.

2019 225