Attendees say, “this time is invaluable. It is the only time of the year when I can step away and think strategically”. Or, “I always hope to walk away with a few new ideas.” Or, “conferences are a great reminder of things I know we should do.”
The conference, as busy as it is, is an oasis of thought and learning. Attendees take copious notes. They have a-ha moments. They glean tidbits from the speakers and capture tips from each other. Within their notes, in the conference app, and in a pile of business cards are their best intentions. They compile tons of should-do’s and could-do’s at the conference but, often what happens at the conference stays at the conference.
Our members are busy, busy, busy. They work ahead like crazy getting ready for the conference. When they get back to the office from the conference, there is a backlog of things to do. The notes and the business cards get tucked away with plans to review them later but, later never comes because there is always something more urgent to do today.
So while attendees say conferences are beneficial one of the chief complaints of conferences is attendees rarely put conference learnings into action. We can help them!
What if we spent some time at the start of the conference and had attendees reflect on the top problems they are grappling with.
- What is the top professional problem you are personally struggling with?
- What is the top problem your team is grappling with?
- What is the top problem your organization is struggling with?
Having articulated those problems for themselves, they can look at the conference through the lens of finding solutions for those problems.
When they find a solution, we can have them list the solution with the other solutions for that problem. At the end of the conference, time is allocated to prioritizing the list of solutions. Instead hundreds of great ideas buried in 15 pages of notes, attendees go home with three solutions to act upon.