Velvet Chainsaw

Fostering a Winning Conference Culture

Velvet Chainsaw

I have been struck by the disparity in how an association’s organizational culture translates (or doesn’t translate) to the on-site implementation or planning of its live events. There are many associations that tout their open and supportive cultures.

If You Build It, Will Teams Come?

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the second installment of a two-part blog on team learning. In the first , we looked at why it’s a smart conference strategy. In this post, we’ll explore how to design, promote and execute it for your next conference.

2019 309

Leveraging Team Learning at Conferences

Velvet Chainsaw

Traditionally teams from organizations attend a conference with a divide-and-conquer game plan, as they split up and attend as many different sessions as they can.

2019 312

What True Learning Is at Participant-Centered Conferences

Velvet Chainsaw

Putting the participant at the center of your conference programming by becoming more learner-centric, that is planning and offering education sessions that go beyond surface learning, is one of the biggest challenges facing conference organizers today.

2019 351

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.

Expo Decisions: Attendee Preferences over Exhibitors—Always

Velvet Chainsaw

For those of you who organize large annual conferences and trade shows, there undoubtedly is a chicken-vs.-egg egg debate.

2019 215

Looking into the Future of Event Tech

Velvet Chainsaw

Your guidepost for event-technology decisions should be to put your customer’s experience before your staff efficiency. As the event-tech space continues to evolve with a number of mergers and acquisitions, I see four changes coming for larger annual conferences. #1.

2019 295

The Physics Of Conference Entropy

Velvet Chainsaw

In physics, the second law of thermodynamics says all things—bodies, businesses, conferences, energy, organizations, relationships—move toward chaos and disorder. This is also known as the state of maximum entropy. In one sense, entropy is a measure of uncertainty or randomness.

Free-Agent, Lisa Block, Joins Velvet Chainsaw

Velvet Chainsaw

While many have been focused this winter on who is going to land free agents like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, Lisa Block inked a deal to join the Velvet Chainsaw Consulting team!

2019 318

Conference Reform Requires Cultivating Leaders With Moral Purpose To Make A Difference

Velvet Chainsaw

Many conferences are stuck in the rut of legacy routines, age-old rituals and cloned programming. Conference organizers and its advisors replicate the past maintaining the traditions and well-established procedures of yesteryear.

2019 331

Effortlessly Interact with an Entire Audience from Any Location

1,000 Participants. 75 Locations. 1 Solution.

We Prefer Stories To Stats—The Dark Side of Stories

Velvet Chainsaw

We love stories. They connect on a personal and emotional level. We trust them more than statistical evidence. Unfortunately, we tend to overgeneralize from others’ stories, from anecdotal information and from small sampling sizes.

2019 325

Empowering Conference Registrants To See Learning As A Journey Not A Finish Line

Velvet Chainsaw

Do your conference learning opportunities—from the general session to networking to breakouts to deep dive workshops—empower registrants to participate in their own learning journey? Or do your conference education sessions motivate participants to see the finish line?

2019 305

Developing Your Conference Story Arc To Activate Participants’ Brains

Velvet Chainsaw

Applying a story arc to the conference can activate participants’ brains. And you want stimulated, motivated engaged brains during your event for sure! A story arc is an extended, continuous storyline in episodic storytelling media such as television series, comic books, video games, films etc.

Education Committee: More Advising and Curating, Less Slotting

Velvet Chainsaw

Most meeting organizers invest a significant amount of time creating the educational programming for their annual conference. Models vary, but most include a 15- to 20-person conference committee (slotters) and army of reviewers (graders).

Emerging Evergreen Conference Practices—From This To That

Velvet Chainsaw

You can never get enough of what you really don’t need says Eric Hoffer. To paraphrase Hoffer, you can never get enough of conference fads, gimmicks and trends. We want more, more, more! Unless your a conference participant and we often have had enough!).

Your Conference Needs a Hub To Entice Customers and Prospects

Velvet Chainsaw

At a recent conference consultation with a client, a millennial made me think that I wasn’t keeping up with the times. We were discussing their marketing and communication strategies for their event.

Are Your Speakers Speaking to Speakers?

Velvet Chainsaw

I wonder about the future of peer review for conference abstracts. While it is a critical filter for high-quality journals, it is a very inefficient process for accelerating innovation and discovery at conferences.

How Much Do Sellers and Buyers Trust Our Tradeshow Environments?

Velvet Chainsaw

The most glaring reality I’ve pointed to previously in this space — that three out of four B2B buyers conduct the majority of their research before talking to a salesperson — greatly affects the sustainability of the tradeshow business model.

2019 246

The Tension Between Content And Process In Facilitated Conference Learning Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

Have you ever attended a conference education session because of the presenter and not the content? (I I think most of us have.). Have you ever been surprised when a full day workshop ended? You were so engaged that time flew by without you realizing it.

2019 261

Burn Conference Traditions Immune From Criticism

Velvet Chainsaw

People don’t trust institutions today say sociologist Dr. Josh Packard. We don’t think institutions have our best interests in mind he says. We believe they serve the interests of the professionals who created and run them, and they serve the interests of perpetuating their own existence.

Time Capsules, Time Machines And Evolution Of Traditional Meeting Planners

Velvet Chainsaw

Is your annual meeting more like a time capsule or a time machine? Conferences that are like time capsules promote and preserve nostalgia and the past. Conferences that are like time machines teleport people to the future so they can discover what’s next.

2018 283

Do Not Be Seduced By Meeting Fads Or Conference Trends

Velvet Chainsaw

Most conference and meeting professionals want the coolest, hippest, latest ideas and trends for their events. We are on the hunt for the next meeting, seating, session format, technology, and food and beverage fad.

Encouraging Words For Professionals On An Association Journey Including Stay Curious And Hungry

Velvet Chainsaw

Encouragement by Kevin Spencer. Nothing we do is inevitable. Our success as association professionals is not inevitable. Achieving a thriving conference and burgeoning membership is not inevitable. We are not guaranteed that our association will stay small or that it will grow big.

2018 295

Practicing Conference Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less And Better

Velvet Chainsaw

It’s hard for conference organizers to stick to planning the essential elements of their events. We are bombarded from every side from people who want us to add their components to the schedule.

2019 243

The Right Rewarding Student Strategy For Your Conference

Velvet Chainsaw

Many associations struggle with the right strategy for involving students in their organization and events. Some attract students to join and participate in the organization’s programs and services while still in college.

2019 241

Our Preoccupation With Solutionitis, Hammers And Nails

Velvet Chainsaw

If all you have is a hammer, everything else looks like a nail. The hammer nail analogy is a common business idiom. It describes the bias that we bring to solving problems based on our personal experience and background. Well, hammer meet nail.

2018 260

Use A Conference Story Arc To Shift Your Participants’ Brain Architecture And Strengthen Their Neural Connections

Velvet Chainsaw

We are helpless story junkies says author, journalist, and storyteller Michelle Weldon. We can’t help it. It’s part of our human nature to crave and connect with stories. Your brain on story acts very differently than when your brain is receiving data, facts and information.

2018 247

More Conference Physics: Inertia

Velvet Chainsaw

I bet you’ve heard this before: “An object at rest, tends to stay at rest.”. Oh, yeah, it’s Newton’s first law of motion : any object will stay at rest or in motion unless acted on by an external force. It’s also referred to the law of inertia. Yes, an object at rest, tends to stay at rest.

On Becoming A New Normal Leader

Velvet Chainsaw

It’s a common, well-accepted, well-worn and overused term: the New Normal. It’s also stealthily deceptive and destructive. It’s critical that successful leaders understand that linear thinking is just an exit ramp in a world of exponential change.

2019 228

The Crisis of Connection

Velvet Chainsaw

We’re lonely. And not just a little lonely. We’re experiencing a global epidemic level of loneliness. Last week, the U.K.

2018 301

Conferences Need More Sharing

Velvet Chainsaw

One of the strongest intangible attributes of a healthy conference is how much sharing takes place. Too often, competition and self-interest get in the way of sharing what’s most helpful.

Making The Common Conference Uncommon

Velvet Chainsaw

Who wants to attend a common, ordinary, ho-hum, everyday , I’m-just-like-all-the-others traditional conference? Even worse, who wants to pay to attend one? And who wants to plan or sell one? Your conference growth and revenue depends upon repeat paying attendees year after year.

Creating The Highly Energized And Engaged Conference Participant

Velvet Chainsaw

Are 50%-80% of your conference attendees in your programming at any given time? Or are they filling the hallways, hotel spa and lounge, local restaurants, coffee shops and bars conversing with others? Or are they visiting the local tourist attractions?

2016 375

What If Attendees Remember Nothing From Your Event?

Velvet Chainsaw

Yes, what if they remember nothing from your event? Meetings are often so overloaded with material that learning may be hurt more than it’s enhanced,” says Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings. Read her article for seven ways to boost learning.).

2016 365

Our Increased Distrust Of Institutions And What It Means To Your Association, Conference

Velvet Chainsaw

“I’m done with !”. Go ahead and fill in that blank with any type of institution. Big business, conferences, education, government, medicine, membership associations, nonprofits, professional societies, religious organizations, trade organizations, etc.

2016 338

What Participants Expect From 21st Century Conference Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

Everything we take for granted about conferences, and planning them, faces disruption. Participants from all generations and cultures increasingly expect conferences to mirror their work and personal lives.

Your Conference Content Has Magnetic Pull

Velvet Chainsaw

Content marketing has grown by leaps and bounds during the past five years. Unfortunately, too few event organizers fully embrace the long-tail, pull benefits of content marketing.

Blow-The-Bugle-Awesome 21st Century Conferences Emulate These Core Beliefs

Velvet Chainsaw

Your conference-slip is showing! I once worked for a Texas elected official. I quickly learned to tell her if her slip was showing, she had a run in her pantyhose or she had lipstick on her teeth—especially before she went on stage or met with the public.

2016 325

Embracing Otherness for Conference Uniqueness [Webinar]

Velvet Chainsaw

Think about the last time you approached a stranger and asked if you could help them? Now ask yourself; Did that person look like me? Robert Putnam , Harvard Political Scientist claims that when most of us are faced with diversity, we retreat and close our doors.

2016 324