How do we make sure attendees walk away with ideas they will remember, new ideas they will think about after the conference and ideas they will eventually use?
One technique comes from the Engaging Associations Forum held each July in Ottawa, Canada. This conference introduced me to the idea of A-Ha cards. Invite attendees to write their a-ha’s, those ideas that really spark a strong feeling in them, on a card. Paste the card on a wall for everyone to see.
Writing and sharing cards helps attendees feel like they are being active participants instead of passive consumers. The act of writing helps them remember. Seeing the wall creates energy among all the participants because they can see what the vibrant community they are building.
For conference organizers the A-Ha cards can provide you with valuable content after the conference. Flip through the and see what ideas most resinated with participants and share them with all members. Take photos of the wall and the cards and use them in your marketing materials so future participants can get a sense of the experience. Another conference I recently attended mailed A-Ha cards to the attendees after the conference.
If you haven’t been to the Engaging Associations Forum yet, the conference content is really great for association professionals and perhaps even better, the hosts, Greenfield Services, experiment with all parts of the conference so attendees can see what new event ideas work and what might not.
- The conference experience starts before the conference
- Warning attendees not to attend the conference again
- Improve the networking experience with curated networking
Top image used with permission by Greenfield Services Inc.