We’ve been talking about the impact technology has had on the overall conference experience. Although conferences have withstood the onslaught of all of these changes, one wonders what is trending for the industry. I believe conferences will continue to survive whatever is thrown into the mix, but what they will look like will depend on what is happening in the background. This is where the planner comes in. Planners need to be aware of all the changes in technology that could be incorporated into the experience – and then successfully do so. They need to be aware of the demographics of their attendees, determine what they will accept effortlessly and what needs to be introduced slowly. They need to define the new length of attention span and design programs that engage the attendee for the exact amount of time that will highlight the message for future retention. They need to support their clients and find new ways to communicate with their existing and potential members to ensure that they gain insight and information for their own pursuits, both professionally and personally. Planners need to know their attendees’ profiles intimately and have a real appreciation for the psychology of the conference experience. In short, they need to be ‘people’ people, and the best way to be successful in all of these pursuits is to partner with others who specialize in their respective fields.
There is no better time to build and nurture existing relationships with those who contribute to successful conference delivery than now. They too need passion for their profession and find the same passion in others they work with. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Troubleshoot to the “nth” degree. By maximizing relationships and being able to depend on all conference partners, everything about the conference will be elevated for the attendee while the caring and attention to detail will ensure success. So, let’s get a big “R” back into Relationships – so that we ALL benefit!