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How to Avoid the Pothole of Predictable Meetings

 

limousine service los angeles, sedan service, sedan service LA, limo service LAWhen was the last time you attended an event or meeting that was different, unpredictable and surprising?

I daresay your answer is probably never.  In fact, you could probably predict the entire agenda right here, right now.

It probably looked a little like this…

  1. Event opens with some sort of video
  2. Highest-ranking executive talks for 45 minutes to an hour, filling time up to the coffee break
  3. More presentations – all the same length
  4. Maybe a few interstitial videos
  5. Lunch
  6. More presentations – all the same length
  7. Concurrent workshops
  8. Closing session that coincidentally lasts to cocktails
  9. Awards banquet

It’s Like the movie, Groundhog Day….predicable, and less effective and engaging the more it repeats itself.

If you’ve done this event dozens of times, just imagine the attention level of your audience. It’s easy to think that a predictable agenda is more comfortable for audiences because they know what’s happening. But do you think they’re even paying attention?  I doubt it!

It’s also easy to think that delivering the “tried and true” is a safe choice. Predictable conferences and meetings are easier for to plan because the overall experience doesn’t change. They are easier to produce because you essentially take last year’s budget and use it again.

The problem with playing it safe is that the audience has changed. If they have been alive and walking around with a pulse in the last 12 months, they have new priorities, interests and concerns.

They’ve changed, so you have to change, too. There’s no value in a boring, mediocre experience.

The best event you can organize is one that is unpredictable, interesting and memorable, and the  only things that should be predictable about any event are the results.

 

Here are some tips from some top corporate meeting planners on how to make your next conference less predictable and more memorable:

•  Let audience needs and expectations drive the agenda.

•  Start with session the most important content.

•  Put the things that generate the most critical results first.

•  Let people do things instead of just talking about doing them.

•  Have the presenters come to the audience (and not the other way around).

•  Have the high-interest speaker lead a series of workshops instead of making a keynote.

•  Remember – not every critical message has to come from the General Session stage.

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Posted on Feb 22 2013

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