How do you juggle 'Opposing Conference Trends'? It's all about attitude

Meetings and conferences are experiencing two simultaneous but opposing trends.  One says - more personalized, individual experiences for participants.  The other says - craft an inclusive, unified vision.  In other words, get everyone on the same page, but separate them at the same time.

How do you reconcile these opposing objectives to create the best experience and provide the most value to your attendees?  It seems like a catch-22 - but it can be done.

[creating] silos suffocates your successful conference
— Jeff Hurt, Velvet Chainsaw

Get them in the right mindset from the beginning.

Give your participants permission from the start of your conference to adopt an open, playful attitude towards learning and networking.  Build a safe, collaborative environment where individuals can SHINE while the main objectives and overarching vision for the conference is met.

Part of the frustration we hear about often is that participants feel STUCK.  Stuck in their seats watching a stagnant keynote, stuck in their schedules with no choices or options, stuck in their ways - always following the same out-dated model.

At Engagement Unlimited we recommend starting out multi-day conferences with The Power of Play as a keynote because it opens the door for participants to get un-stuck and take on the day with a fresh perspective and open mind. The inclusive, interactive and energizing nature of the session encourages exploration, positivity and motivates teams to make the most of their conference experience. Starting the conference with this session puts the conference participants into the best zone for the remainder of the conference. The results are quite amazing.

“Consumers want more control over the experiences. No longer do they ‘surrender’ themselves to the staged experiental environments where everything is already decided for them, where they find themselves stuck within a given framework.”
— Paul Shreuder for Event Manager Blog

Establish the WHY for the conference
while giving room for exploration and discovery

It’s also a great option to follow up with a break-out session that teaches participants practical ways to incorporate this attitude shift across their work and personal lives.  Learning how to implement this concept beyond the conference will help solidify ongoing engagement and learning retention.  For a quick list of ideas - head over to our Free Stuff section or click here.

If you don't give your participants room to explore and discover on their own in their own unique way, you will never fully get your big 'why' or specific learning objectives across to everyone.  Unite - then divide and conquer in a way that makes sense for YOU.

It's possible to satisfy the two biggest trends in conferences today without having to sacrifice personalization or losing sight of the reason for the meeting - all you need is a positive, playful attitude shift!

“Chemicals in the brain created by play allow you to “organize new information, keep that information in the brain longer, and retrieve it faster later on. And they enable us to make and sustain more neural connections...think more quickly and creatively, become more skilled at complex analysis...and invent new ways of doing things”
— Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage