March 12, 2010

We didn’t just work the entire time we were in Vegas– we visited the 800-booth trade show floor, spent one evening at “Anthology” – a night filled with a collection of culinary creativity from Chilean Duck Duck tacos to torched American Lamb t-bone steaks to a caviar bar and live champagne chandelier s set amongst the umbrellas, with a finish of nitro ice cream at the 321⁰ below zero ice cream station, and we also attended a few classes.

I smiled and nodded my head in agreement throughout one of those classes as Jeff Hurt, Director of Education and Engagement at Velvet Chainsaw, shared his ideas of how to plan and produce next-generation conferences and events.

Over the last few months, I have often talked about the new adult learning model, the need to pull not push out information, and the need to look for new methods that are participatory and collaborative. So when I read Jeff’s course description describing the way people learn today and how that impacts the traditional conference or event where typically there are “one too many presentations with a sage on the stage and a passive listening audience”, I knew I had to make his session – even though it started at 7AM! So, off I went, and I was not disappointed.

Jeff took us through recent research about traditional room set ups – pretty easy to improve those – and then launched into five principles for redesigning learning elements during conference general sessions and workshops- along with a discussion about the impact of the traditional hierarchy of expertise, top-down, controlled, presumed authority presentations on an audience of learners.

If you want your meetings and conferences to reflect 21st century thinking and provide pay-back for your client, then visit Jeff’s blog at http://jeffhurtblog.com. The deck is posted under the title of “Catalyst Conferences: How to Plan and Produce Next-Generation Conferences & Events”. For some, it will be a review with a few good new supporting facts and tips. For others, it will be a major revelation!

For me, it was the affirmation I needed to turn my thoughts for change into a major campaign. It is time to move forward.

One comment

  1. Thank you – the beginning of the industry moving forward.

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