Conference Innovation Through Paradigm Busting

Velvet Chainsaw

These mental models are deeply embedded in our conference planning and management practices. Savvy conference organizers realize that their mental models have much more influence over their outcomes than their decisions and actions. Surfacing our cognitive conference constructs.

Star Struck: Identifying Your Conference North Star

Velvet Chainsaw

The North Star is the perfect metaphor for your annual conference purpose. When your conference purpose serves as a North Star, it guides all decisions, tasks, behaviors and strategy. Uncovering Your North Star Conviction To Find Conference True Target Market.

Six Conference Paradigms To Bust Immediately

Velvet Chainsaw

If there’s something strange in your conference-hood. Our cognitive frameworks—our mental models and paradigms—shape our thinking, behavior, operations and success of our conferences. We falsely believe that future conferences are just an extension of the past.

Encourage Your Speakers to Engage Conference Participants

Smooth The Path

The opening keynote speaker sets the tone for the rest of the conference. Then schedule a call in advance of the conference to discuss what you hope to achieve with the opening keynote. Ask to repost their blog posts in pre-conference marketing.

Refactor Your Conference Archaic Planning Routines

Velvet Chainsaw

Conference organizers and their planning teams should understand, identify and quash organizational debt. Refactoring As A Metaphor For Conference Improvement. Thus we refactor to improve the conference experience for our customers. Consider it as your conference source code.

Musings from the RSA Conference

Association Management

RSA Conference is this week in San Francisco. This event is like the annual prom for the security industry—part conference, part trade show, part “place to be.” Finally, I was pleased to see the conference include a track this year on.

The Secret Value of Conferences

Smooth The Path

Why do people go to conferences even though online learning and books are a better deal? These are all reasons to go to a conference rather than buy a book or take an online class. When you invest in a conference, you give yourself permission to take the time to be there.

American Board of Medical Specialties Conference

Web Courseworks Associations

ABMS , a prominent board of medical specialty boards, will hold its annual conference in Chicago, September 25-27. The post American Board of Medical Specialties Conference appeared first on Web Courseworks.

Steps To Minimize And Prevent Your Conference Organizational Debt

Velvet Chainsaw

Ultimately, we must take steps to minimize and prevent accrual of conference organizational debt. Read more about conference organizational debt here , how to refactor organizational debt here and the interest you pay on conference organizational debt here.

Conferences Need More Sharing

Velvet Chainsaw

One of the strongest intangible attributes of a healthy conference is how much sharing takes place. Conversely, conferences that have a higher deal-making quotient tend to hold their cards closer to their chests. The post Conferences Need More Sharing appeared first on Velvet Chainsaw.

The Conference Owner’s Guide: Steps 2-5 To Transition From Conference Touchpoints To Journey Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

Once you’ve observed the conference through the lens of your target customer and gained insights from conference data, you can move to the next steps. These steps are critical for you and your conference planning teams to embrace, enlist and employ.

The Conference Debt You Cannot Afford

Velvet Chainsaw

There is one debt every conference organizer must face and vanquish. It can cripple a conference. Anyone striving to build a 21st century sustainable conference needs to understand organizational debt, how it impacts their event and how to prevent it.

Challenging Our Conference Mental Models To Build Future Effective Events

Velvet Chainsaw

And just as important, how and what do we think about our conferences and events? How do we understand our conference planning processes, its underlying assumptions, and our customers, partners, exhibitors, and stakeholders? Your Conference Mental Models Control You.

The Conference Owner’s Guide To Customer Experience

Velvet Chainsaw

Who owns the overall experience that customers have at your conference? Who oversees and manages the conference customers’ journey? Or perhaps no one is considering the holistic experience of your conference customer? Do you know what your conference target market customer wants?

The Conference Experience Starts Before the Conference

Smooth The Path

How do you create a great conference experience? By getting attendees ready for a great conference experience! Here are three new things to try out: Rock the pre-conference communications : What are the most common attendee mistakes or misunderstandings?

Your Conference As A Giving Field

Velvet Chainsaw

We are used to thinking of our conference and its planning process as a one-way transaction from the company to its customers. We may even dread working with a new conference advisory committee due to our negative past experiences. The Traditional Transactional Conference Model.

Good news foodies: Conference venues are listening

Aaron Wolowiec

At a conference dinner earlier this month, a bunch of us, hungry and tired, sat at the table joking that chicken was most likely on the menu. Sounds about right for a conference, yes? Farm-to-food eating is gaining popularity across the globe, so conference venues are taking note.

Disney-inspired conference experiences

Aaron Wolowiec

If we dive a bit more deeply into this aspirational culture statement it’s easy to see how the values that make The Walt Disney Company an extraordinary place to work are the same values that are capable of transforming association events into member-centric conference experiences.

Disney-inspired conference experiences

Aaron Wolowiec

If we dive a bit more deeply into this aspirational culture statement it’s easy to see how the values that make The Walt Disney Company an extraordinary place to work are the same values that are capable of transforming association events into member-centric conference experiences.

You’re Paying Too Much Interest On Your Conference Organizational Debt

Velvet Chainsaw

Conference organizational debt. Your conference pays the interest on this debt in the form of reduced speed, lack of capacity, diminished engagement, rigidity and stagnate programming. Think of your conference speaker and content RFP process.

The Whole Conference Experience is Decided in the First 10 Seconds

Smooth The Path

A meeting planner said to me, “the whole conference experience is decided in the first 10 seconds”. Those critical first impressions are made at the registration desk at most conferences. We, the professionals organizing the conference, think of registration as a transaction.

Plan, attack, conquer: A conference strategy

Aaron Wolowiec

13-16, we wanted to share more advice from conference goers to help you capitalize on your experience. Like many people, when I attended my first ASAE conference in 2006, I was overwhelmed and distracted by how the massive number of people, sessions and booths.

Plan, attack, conquer: A conference strategy

Aaron Wolowiec

13-16, we wanted to share more advice from conference goers to help you capitalize on your experience. Like many people, when I attended my first ASAE conference in 2006, I was overwhelmed and distracted by how the massive number of people, sessions and booths.

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. Savvy conference organizers meet these disruptions head-on.

Great Questions Define Great Conference Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

It is much more effective to provide opportunities for conference participants to solve their own problems, then telling them how to solve it. Conference organizers automatically assume that if someone is attending their event, they expect the conference to help them solve their problems.

Three Core Conference Planning Tenets To Master And Skillfully Apply

Velvet Chainsaw

Does your conference committee practice organized abandonment and avoid no-bottom-line-mindsets? How are they at focusing on the purpose, goals and target market of the conference when making decisions? These three principles are vital to maintaining a healthy, strong conference.

Boards and Annual Conference Venues

Eric Lanke

I've had two recent experiences that have made me think critically about an association board's role in selecting venues for their association's annual conference. As if that was the only thing that could spell success for the conference.

Creating A Customer-Centric Conference Strategy

Velvet Chainsaw

Established, successful conferences have leadership that are usually adept at incrementally improving their event each year. Conference organizers must focus on both their customers’ needs—their pain points and problems to solve—and their aspirations—their wants and professional goals.

Many Conferences Lack Connective Tissue

Velvet Chainsaw

Your conference is lacking! So how does the metaphor of our body’s connective tissue relate to conferences? Your Conference, That House And Connective Tissue. Your conference is just like that house.

Mediocrity Is Your Biggest Conference Competitor

Velvet Chainsaw

Your real conference competition is not that event held six months after yours. Today’s technology driven, hyper-connected, instant gratification, real-time world puts you as a conference organizer in a difficult position. Have you normalized conference mediocrity as acceptable?

The Conference Lecture Paradox

Velvet Chainsaw

When talking about conference education, most people think about the traditional lecture. It is perceived as the holy grail of much of the conference. Our Love/Hate Affair With Conference Lectures. Five Myths Of Interactive, Participatory Learning For STEM Conferences.

The Problems Attendees Experience at Conferences

Smooth The Path

Members love to talk about their conference experience during in-depth interviews with me. We spend a lot of time talking about their conference experience because the conference is where most members get the most value. Many conference attendees go to every session.

Flourishing Conference Professionals Lead With Purpose

Velvet Chainsaw

As a conference organizer, how purpose-driven are you? Successful conference organizers are purpose-driven! They design conference experiences that become meaning-making opportunities for their participants. Purpose-Driven Conference Organizers’ Mindset.

Configurable and Personalized Conference Experiences

Velvet Chainsaw

The mass-personalization wave that is dramatically changing what and how we buy as consumers has application to conferences. Application to Conferences. In my opinion, the first item — individualizing a conference experience for every attendee — isn’t scalable today.

3 Things Your Conference Attendees Want to Do on Their Phones [Research]

Socious

Conference Management Mobile Strategy Event App77% of people say that when they’re attending live events they often (or always) use their smartphones for business. Another 13% say they sometimes use their smartphones, while only 10% say they rarely or never use their phones.

Good Moods are Contagious at Conferences

Smooth The Path

Let’s think about how emotional contagion works at conferences. We, the organizers of the conference, have been working on this event for months. The few weeks leading up to the conference have been more than jam packed. Then pre-conference attendees.

Are We Creating The Wrong Type Of Conference Experiences?

Velvet Chainsaw

It’s as if Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore’s Experience Economy is just now hitting its stride—for conferences at least. The word is out: we’ve got to create conference experiences, not just conferences that feel like a patchwork quilt of our great grandmother’s dresses.

Misguided And Misinformed Conference Barometers

Velvet Chainsaw

Many of us who plan conferences have become so busy at the logistics of the event that we lose sight of the goal. Misleading Barometers Our own expectations of repeating what we’ve always done for organizing our conferences have become misguided barometers.

En Route For Next-Gen Conference Audiences

Velvet Chainsaw

This is the first of two posts that are intended to be a helpful resource for conference organizers as they develop their attendee succession-plan strategy. Key Indicators For Most Conferences. The post En Route For Next-Gen Conference Audiences appeared first on Velvet Chainsaw.

What if Your Association’s Conference Moved Online?

Smooth The Path

Sure, right now you might use apps to deliver content or as an add-on to the conference experience. One of these tests could be your annual conference. Likely only 10% of your membership goes to the annual conference. Maybe, the first place to start is with your conference.