Whether we talk about conferences, meetings, seminars, congresses or the like, our success is dependent on something as simple as giving both meeting owners, participants, speakers, and other content suppliers, a common direction and a common outcome. For this to succeed, requirements are set for all three parties.
From the very beginning, we must - as organizers - be completely clear about what we want to achieve. What are we ‘selling’? A product, a changed perception, a behavior, the desire to actively engage in a community, or ‘just’ a good experience? No matter what we sell, participants rarely show up to buy – and we need to consider this in the planning and organization of our meeting.
The framework of the meeting, in material as well as immaterial dimensions, is a major factor. Give the meeting a setting that inspires; a room that makes everyone want to give input, or a party room no one wants to leave.
Participants will be more prone to give input and form part of the meeting when they feel seen, heard and felt – and this emotional process starts from the moment they get an invitation or see the announcement of the meeting. At the meeting, there must be room for participants to ‘get rid of their thoughts’ through conversations with others, including participants, speakers, content suppliers and meeting owners. For this, breaks are especially useful: They provide an important opportunity for spontaneous conversations.
Creating a setting that facilitates conversations also demands something from the content suppliers, and most importantly; the speakers. No lecture is more valuable than the conversation that follows. All lectures must create confidence and credibility while at the same time awakening curiosity and the desire for more. Make them short! If the lecturers avoid speaking for too long, there will be more room for valuable and spontaneous conversations. In order to put this into practice, it is important to inform lecturers and other content suppliers of the objectives, which we as organizers wish to achieve, so the suppliers can align their content to these objectives.
Turn on the spark that lives in us all: While we do not all burn for the same, we can still strive to turn on our spark together. When this happens, guests want to continue discussing the subjects that have been presented, the lecturers will want to come back and the organizers can be pleased that they have spread their message to their audience.
The end is near. Soon the meeting is over, the lights are turned of, and the participants have gone home. What then? Visualize what you have left on the other side of the meeting, and have confidence that you will be rewarded for having created a meeting with room for your participants. These are the ones who will tell the story about the meeting.
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Cheche is a consultancy that brings experience and new perspectives together with resilience, resourcefulness, innovation and implementation.
We make meetings and conferences better for our customers. Not for fun, but because the meetings are a great way to learn together.