The Intersection of Industries, Ideas and Interests. Six Take-aways from Convening Leaders.
Convening Leaders has always been a place for meeting new people and building friendships. Each year PCMA takes the idea of creating connections to a new level and this year, the education and experiences crossed boundaries of industries and ideas, appealing to attendees’ broader interests.
Here’s a short list of specific actionable ideas that I will put to use at future conferences of my own:
1. Invite speakers from various disciplines to your next event. It’s a refreshing change from extremely technical sessions and a great way to place industry trends in a broader context. Economists, Futurists, celebrities, and story tellers are all good choices for professional development conferences.
2. Highlight inspiring success stories. Stories of overcoming adversity and impacting social change remind us of what’s possible and inspire us to consider how we can create a possible impact on the world.
3. Leverage a professional moderator. This is a great way to assure a strong positive energy on stage throughout the conference. This person should also be good at making the connections between topics, or leading attendees to make their own connections.
4. Give sponsors a lot of flexibility in creating activations. As the show organizer, you don’t have to do all the work, allow your sponsors room to create their own engaging activities for attendees.
5. Invite graphic artists to depict the theme and content of a few key sessions. I love to doodle when listening to sessions and watching a professional is evening better. Maybe there is a way to engage the audience in the doodling…encourage attendees to develop a visual representation of the ideas from a session and share them to create an audience generated mural.
And my last and favorite tip: read magazines that are not targeted for your demographic. Convening Leaders speaker, Rohit Bhargava says this will improve your creativity and help you understand other people. It’s also a great way to find out about the trends that professionals in other industries are talking about and identify the broader connections to issues facing your industry.
President, Event Producers