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Future of Conferences
Next practices to improve the effectiveness of L&D Conferences
Curated by Jay Cross
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Half an Hour: How I Would Organize A Conference

Half an Hour: How I Would Organize A Conference | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Jay Cross's insight:

This article is a gem; I don't know why I hadn't seen it before.

This is what conferences would look like if Stephen Downes ran the zoo.  It's zany but I'd go to an event like this.  

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Peer-Learning: The Next Frontier for Conferences

Peer-Learning: The Next Frontier for Conferences | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
E-180’s Knowledge Market at C2MTL. Photo by Allen McEachern.   You need to stay in touch with the latest innovations in your field. You know ...
Jay Cross's insight:

Human beings, with their wealth of experiences and knowledge, are the biggest asset of any great event. You’d never leave your content to chance: why would you leave relationship-building to random chance? As an event organizer, these insights can help you become the matchmaker that makes sure your attendees find and learn from their valuable stranger, while under your care!

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Sponsorships: What Do Meeting Organizers and Exhibitors Want?

Sponsorships: What Do Meeting Organizers and Exhibitors Want? | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Many association meetings wouldn’t be successful without sponsors. A new study reveals what meeting sponsors and organizers are looking for from these partnerships.
Jay Cross's insight:

Why do vendors sponsor conferences? This survey suggests they don't know either!

 

"...since the survey also revealed that 82 percent of organizers do not offer sponsors a report on the effectiveness of their sponsorship.

Because of this, sponsors measure their effectiveness in other ways, including by the number of attendees who visited their booth (43 percent) or through other factors like the number of handouts distributed (23 percent)."

 

Sponsors and vendors should be co-learning with their customers and prospects, not buying bigger and bigger signs.

 

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Meeting Registration: It Goes Beyond Process

Meeting Registration: It Goes Beyond Process | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Registration for meetings and events is about more than the process. It’s also about what’s included, the price, and any extras that come with it. Here’s a look at how three associations are thinking creatively about registration packages.
Jay Cross's insight:

Every event calls for a welcoming front door. The conference, especially our first impressions, begins before the conference. 

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Are Conferences Obsolete?

Are Conferences Obsolete? | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Don’t get me wrong, if you can convince the company that you need to attend every conference in the country like some weed-smokin’ Phish fan, more power to you. Just be on notice that the day will come when the gravy train ends and we’ll look back and say “remember the days when we traveled the country for free to learn stuff we already knew?” Until then enjoy your free travel perks while you can, rack up those frequent flyer miles and 5 Stars restaurants because someday soon that pinhead Lionel in finance (who never travels) is gonna take a hard look at the books and ask “Why do we send Phil to San Francisco every year for MacWorld? Aren’t we in the semi-conductor business?”
Jay Cross's insight:

Some see conferences as little more than boondoggle. 

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Mike Hohnen's curator insight, January 7, 1:49 AM

It is not that black /white some conferences a fabulous  - but they are few and far between - the diffrence betwen good and horrible is service design. Great confernces have great #servicedesign.

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5 Conferences And Events Tech Entrepreneur's Should Consider Attending This Year

5 Conferences And Events Tech Entrepreneur's Should Consider Attending This Year | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
2015 promises to be a big year for Tech entrepreneurs and start-ups, with wearables and the internet of things likely to be the fields where we see the most progress.
Jay Cross's insight:

Tech conferences are gigantic affairs. One event takes place all over London simultaneously. By comparison, L&D conferences are but a grain of sand on the beach. Might some events morph into MOOCs? 

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The Event Effect - a tech-led future for meetings, conferences and exhibitions

The Event Effect - a tech-led future for meetings, conferences and exhibitions | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
It's rare to hear from someone in the events (MICE) sector speak at a PhoCusWright conference.
Jay Cross's insight:
Back to the social element, conference providers should be able to suggest sessions for an attendee based on perhaps what they have listened to before, what their colleagues or contacts have recommended, who might have been a popular speaker in the past or elsewhere. Over time this database of recommendations becomes more useful, plus also puts a certain degree of pressure on speakers or panellists to perform well.Closely aligned to this element is the delegate social network – suggestions on who to meet, who is available for introductions, where the most useful networking events will be, all based on a combination of historical activity and recommendations.The content (speeches, panels and debates, case studies) within the event itself should be instantly shareable around a delegate’s existing social networks and, in what could be a break from the norm (due to heavy registration fees), instantly downloadable. Instant replies should be available, too – on-demand keynotes, for example.

 

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Jay Cross's curator insight, January 6, 1:58 PM

Many suggestions on structuring conferences so that participants get the maximum return for attending.

 

Back to the social element, conference providers should be able to suggest sessions for an attendee based on perhaps what they have listened to before, what their colleagues or contacts have recommended, who might have been a popular speaker in the past or elsewhere. Over time this database of recommendations becomes more useful, plus also puts a certain degree of pressure on speakers or panellists to perform well.Closely aligned to this element is the delegate social network – suggestions on who to meet, who is available for introductions, where the most useful networking events will be, all based on a combination of historical activity and recommendations.The content (speeches, panels and debates, case studies) within the event itself should be instantly shareable around a delegate’s existing social networks and, in what could be a break from the norm (due to heavy registration fees), instantly downloadable. Instant replies should be available, too – on-demand keynotes, for example.Mobile polling should be standard, not an often clunky app-driven nice-to-have.Looking perhaps slightly further ahead into the future, not least because of costs, but augmented reality technology should eventually become the norm – where delegates can use a wearable device or mobile phone to find other delegates or booths, but also – more usefully – discover during the process which people or companies are most appropriate to spend time with (a “relevance to you”-type tool, again learning from previous activity or suggestions). 

Perhaps where many events are missing a trick is that they exist in a vacuum, just running for a few days each year.

 

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Mapping the Edges - Conferences

Mapping the Edges - Conferences | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Jay Cross's insight:

Visual Insight's rendering of a conversation with John Abele and Jay Cross about the future of conferences.

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How to Engage Introverts at Conferences

How to Engage Introverts at Conferences | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Participative learning, collaborative working, audience led content - events are changing, and for the better. But with this shift to more involved formats there’s a danger that we alienate a large part of the audience. Susan Cain estimates that between a third and half the population is... Read more
Jay Cross's insight:

One size does not fit all.

 

"Design a narrative that naturally steps people towards collaboration. This shouldn’t mean having to spontaneously share thoughts with the entire audience rather it should see people working together in more intimate twos or threes. Allow time for people to reflect on things and encourage solo flights of thought before they collaborate.

Consider the physical setting, provide quieter seated areas where people can have deeper conversations or simply recharge. Think about the duration of your conference and ensure that people feel able to skip fringe drinks receptions."

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Future Exploration Network | 2014: Crunch Time

Future Exploration Network | 2014: Crunch Time | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
For many years we have all observed massive change, driven not only by extraordinary developments in information, medical, and material technologies, but also by accompanying social shifts that have been as dramatic as technological change.

These shifts have been incremental over years, so while we are all aware of these shifts, many still do not realize quite how dramatic the impact will be.

We are now reaching “Crunch Time”, when cumulative change is reaching the point of fundamental disruption in many aspects of society. Now is when the extent of change truly hits home, leaving many dazed, yet others seizing the extraordinary opportunities that emerge from rapid change.
Jay Cross's insight:

Ross Dawson, brilliant as always on what's coming next.

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10 leadership principles that never go out of style, from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos | SmartPlanet

10 leadership principles that never go out of style, from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos | SmartPlanet | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
‘Be willing to fail. Be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.’
Jay Cross's insight:

1. Base your strategy on service, not gadgets. Products and technologies will always change. What never goes out of style is a commitment to “wider selection, lower prices and fast, reliable delivery.”

2. Obsess over customers.

3. Be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. Bezos tends to take a long-term view on innovations that don’t pay off right away.

4. Work to charge less. Many companies try to charge as much as they can, when they can — Amazon’s culture emphasizes frugality.

5. Determine what your customers need, and work backwards. “Specs for Amazon’s big new projects such as its Kindle tablets and e-book readers have been defined by customers’ desires rather than engineers’ tastes,” says Anders.

6. “Our culture is friendly and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”Data — not social cohesion — rules Amazon.

7. Be willing to fail — often. Amazon recognizes that failure is a natural part of the innovation process.

8. “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

9. “Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.” Perhaps a page borrowed from the US Marine manual, in which every marine, regardless of rank or specialty, is a rifleman first. All Amazon managers are expected to be trained as call center representatives.

10. “This is Day 1 for the Internet. We still have so much to learn.” Bezos first said that in 1997, and still believes it.

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Five Trends Shaping The Future Of Work

Five Trends Shaping The Future Of Work | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
When it comes to the future of work there are a few key trends which business leaders need to pay attention to.  Understanding these trends will allow organizations to better prepare and adapt to the changes which are impacting the way we work.
Jay Cross's insight:

Work is learning and learning is work. These five trends are driving the need for learning platforms ("Workscapes"):

 

1) changing behaviors which are being shaped by social media entering the enterprise 2) new collaborative technologies 3) a shift to the “cloud” 4) millennials soon becoming the majority workforce and 5) mobility and “connecting to work.”

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Future of Work - Strategy framework by futurist Ross Dawson

Future of Work - Strategy framework by futurist Ross Dawson | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Future of Work - An infographic and strategy framework by futurist and keynote speaker Ross Dawson
Jay Cross's insight:

Great summary of the future of work

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Helen Blunden's curator insight, July 4, 2013 5:44 AM

Scrutinising this diagram closely...that's a lot of change!

Dorai Thodla's comment, July 15, 2013 6:42 PM
Each box represents a set of possible disruptions and several opportunities.
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Flipped Learning: What’s Its Place in the Association Meetings Space?

Flipped Learning: What’s Its Place in the Association Meetings Space? | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Moving your meeting’s education from an expert-led lecture format to an activity- and discussion-based one may lead to more active and engaged attendees.
Jay Cross's insight:

I'm all in favor of flipped learning at conferences. Give me the content in a ten-minute Ignite session and then let me explore it with my colleagues. 

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Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker - Trends in the Living Networks

Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker - Trends in the Living Networks | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
We have just launched a keynote speaker influence ranking page, giving an indication of the social and online reach of people who work primarily as keynote speakers. The widget is embedded below (and you can embed it in your own website if you want), though it is better viewed on the main rankings page. ThereContinue reading Launch of keynote speaker influence ranking tracker
Jay Cross's insight:

In the future, we'll share ratings of presenters and instructors on the conference cirucit. Why waste time with the duds? College students have been rating their teachers for years 

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Richard Sober on Twitter

Richard Sober on Twitter | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Must remember this for future conferences!! pic.twitter.com/bgNbci8g6Q
Jay Cross's insight:

Guide to answering questions. I wish people behaved this way.

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Google Hangouts Powering the Future of Conferences: #TFT13

Google Hangouts Powering the Future of Conferences: #TFT13 | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Have you ever been to conference? if not, you're really missing out, and should find one for your industry right away.
Jay Cross's insight:

Twenty-four speakers in twenty-four hours. Ten years ago I hosted a 24-hour online conference. We handed the mic from the U.S. to Australia to Abu Dhabi to London and back to the U.S. I dozed on a cot in my office but was awake for most of it. Sometimes only two or three or us were present. It proved difficult to keep the momentum going. I can't remember what platform we used; this was way before Google offered Hangouts. In those days I was out to prove that you could host conferences and other events using only free software. It was feasible but not as easy as it is today. The biggest obstacle to innovation is the limits we put on our thinking; the technology is up for almost any configuration we can imagine.

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The Event Effect - a tech-led future for meetings, conferences and exhibitions

The Event Effect - a tech-led future for meetings, conferences and exhibitions | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
It's rare to hear from someone in the events (MICE) sector speak at a PhoCusWright conference.

Via Michel Couturier
Jay Cross's insight:

Many suggestions on structuring conferences so that participants get the maximum return for attending.

 

Back to the social element, conference providers should be able to suggest sessions for an attendee based on perhaps what they have listened to before, what their colleagues or contacts have recommended, who might have been a popular speaker in the past or elsewhere. Over time this database of recommendations becomes more useful, plus also puts a certain degree of pressure on speakers or panellists to perform well.Closely aligned to this element is the delegate social network – suggestions on who to meet, who is available for introductions, where the most useful networking events will be, all based on a combination of historical activity and recommendations.The content (speeches, panels and debates, case studies) within the event itself should be instantly shareable around a delegate’s existing social networks and, in what could be a break from the norm (due to heavy registration fees), instantly downloadable. Instant replies should be available, too – on-demand keynotes, for example.Mobile polling should be standard, not an often clunky app-driven nice-to-have.Looking perhaps slightly further ahead into the future, not least because of costs, but augmented reality technology should eventually become the norm – where delegates can use a wearable device or mobile phone to find other delegates or booths, but also – more usefully – discover during the process which people or companies are most appropriate to spend time with (a “relevance to you”-type tool, again learning from previous activity or suggestions). 

Perhaps where many events are missing a trick is that they exist in a vacuum, just running for a few days each year.

 

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Jay Cross's curator insight, January 3, 9:45 PM
Back to the social element, conference providers should be able to suggest sessions for an attendee based on perhaps what they have listened to before, what their colleagues or contacts have recommended, who might have been a popular speaker in the past or elsewhere. Over time this database of recommendations becomes more useful, plus also puts a certain degree of pressure on speakers or panellists to perform well.Closely aligned to this element is the delegate social network – suggestions on who to meet, who is available for introductions, where the most useful networking events will be, all based on a combination of historical activity and recommendations.The content (speeches, panels and debates, case studies) within the event itself should be instantly shareable around a delegate’s existing social networks and, in what could be a break from the norm (due to heavy registration fees), instantly downloadable. Instant replies should be available, too – on-demand keynotes, for example.

 

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How a Nonprofit Used Hybrid Events to Grow its Audience

How a Nonprofit Used Hybrid Events to Grow its Audience | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
The face-to-face event has also experienced steady growth since 2009, quelling the association’s initial fear that adding online opportunities would hurt in-person attendance. “We've found with the online event we are hitting a brand new audience of people who may never have the finances to go to our conference,” said Victoria Fanning, director of hybrid and online meetings. In 2009, 3,784 people attended the Educause annual conference; that number grew to 4,563 in 2012.
Jay Cross's insight:

Conferences may become hybrids, with a core F2F event supplemented with an online event. It works for Educause. 

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Five Trends Changing How Attendees Learn

Five Trends Changing How Attendees Learn | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Emerging as a compromise is a hybrid: a solid agenda of sessions—many now interactive or “experiential”—interspersed with spots of spontaneous learning. The latter can take the form of informal meet-ups, Twitter-driven conversations that turn face-to-face, or participant-led “unconferences.”

“The amount of real-time content developed goes up each year at our Learn Conference,” says Masie, who estimates his 2014 attendees will spend 15 percent to 30 percent of their time in real-time learning situations.
Jay Cross's insight:

Experiential, personalized, lay experts, mixing new and traditional, real-time learning. 

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Rethinking conferences

Rethinking conferences | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
When I signed up for Spaces for Interaction: An Online Conversation about Improving the Traditional Conference, I didn’t appreciate how timely the topic would become. Conferences have traditionally provided foundation knowledge for instructional designers, trainers, CLOs, and others in the […]
Jay Cross's insight:

From 2009. Scroll down to read what survey participants like and don't like about conferences. 

 

"The basic structure of one-way presentations, flying to convention cities, blowing an entire week at a time, and vendors going through the motions but getting few sales is counter to the culture and M.O. of the network era. Scheduling twenty simultaneous sessions guarantees you’ll miss something you wanted to see. Wi-fi is always broken. Some of the certificate programs conducted before conferences strike me as low-grade diploma mills. There’s lots of room for improvement."

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Trade fair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trade fair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A trade fair ( trade show, trade exhibition or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities.

Jay Cross's insight:

I'm curious about what's going to happen to L&D conferences in the next five years. Will their business model be disrupted? How will they change? How can they be more effective? I'm doing this study on my own, unsponsored, and there's no hidden agenda.

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Smarter Planet -- IBM Research's Cognitive Systems Colloquium --

Smarter Planet -- IBM Research's Cognitive Systems Colloquium -- | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
Today's Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research brings together leaders in science, technology and psychology to craft a shared agenda for the future.
Jay Cross's insight:

"The move to this era is being driven by four synergistic factors: big data, mobile connectivity, social networking and the Internet of Things. Every element here has exponential growth.

There are no physical limits to the growth of data—which will challenge our ability to process and store it. If we try to use current-generation computing against this wave, we’re done. So we need a whole new set of systems."

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The Financial Times Misses The Management Revolution

The Financial Times Misses The Management Revolution | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
The Financial Times Flubs The Management Revolution: The skepticism of this FT article ignores the massive transformation of business that is already under way, creating firms that are better for employees, for customers, for society as a whole and...
Jay Cross's insight:

Not fifty ideas that are shaping tomorrow...  Businesses are shifting from pus to pull with a focus on customer satisfaction. This is a reboot, not an incremental change. 

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PauletteP's curator insight, October 2, 2013 7:54 PM

Some interesting insights by Steve Denning in response to a Financial Times Special Report  that is sceptical of " the Management Revolution."

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The Origin of 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Milton Friedman

The Origin of 'The World's Dumbest Idea': Milton Friedman | Future of Conferences | Scoop.it
The origin of 'the world’s dumbest idea’: maximizing shareholder value: The idea got going with an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times in 1970. The economic consequences were disastrous.
Jay Cross's insight:

Great article debunking the pursuit of shareholder value. How did we get it so wrong? I remember praying at this church while I was growing up. 

 

"Peter Drucker’s argument about the primacy of the customer didn’t have much effect until globalization and the Internet changed everything. Customers suddenly had real choices, access to instant reliable information and the ability to communicate with each other. Power in the marketplace shifted from seller to buyer. Customers started insisting on “better, cheaper, quicker and smaller,” along with “more convenient, reliable and personalized.” Continuous, even transformational, innovation became requirements for survival."



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gregmhagar's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:20 AM

Great article exposing the neoliberal myth that the sole purpose of a company is to pay off its shareholders. 

gregmhagar's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:20 AM

Great article exposing the neoliberal myth that the sole purpose of a company is to pay off its shareholders.