Welcome To
Conferences That Work
an innovative conference format that reliably builds
highly interactive, participant-led events,
leveraging attendee expertise and experience to
create exactly the conference that participants need and want.

"Simply the most productive conference I've been to."



Do you want to make your current face-to-face conference "can't miss" better, even as more and more content becomes available online? Are you wondering how to successfully start a new conference? Are your events suffering from falling attendance, evaluations, or profits? I can help!

I'll help you create engaging conferences around the learning your attendees really want and need. Conferences designed to build meaningful, mutually beneficial connections between participants. Conferences that help people work smarter and lead to action.

For over 20 years I've been designing and facilitating Conferences That Work: innovative, highly interactive, attendee-driven events that leverage attendees' expertise and experience to create just the conference that participants want. If desired, you can include traditional plenary sessions to create an event experience that will delight your attendees.

I'm available for consultation on your conference (re)design, present regularly about participant-led and participation-rich events, and lead interactive workshops on participation techniques anyone can use to improve their conference sessions. I also offer two popular sessions—The Solution Room and The Personal Introspective—that provide powerful opportunities for participants to connect, engage, and learn at your event.

My book, Conferences That Work: Creating Events That People Love condenses 30 years experience designing, organizing, and facilitating conferences into an information-packed step-by-step guide to a proven design for creating productive conferences that people love.

My next book, The Power of Participation, is a comprehensive guide to participation techniques that increase learning, connection, and engagement at any conference session. Use the form below to be notified when it's published in 2015.

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Quick Links

Peer Conference In Action

Recent Peer Conference Calendar Additions

To report conferences for inclusion in the events calendar >>>>

For more information on learning to hold Conferences That Work>>>>

  • Jun 14 2015 - Jun 17 2015: Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) 2015 Education Conference, Broward County Convention Center 1950 Eisenhower Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    Adrian will be facilitating the entire conference, including interviewing keynoter John Medina ("Brain Rules"), and working with plenary presenters Will Thalheimer, Sara Lewis and Mel Robbins. He'll also run a personal introspective and a closing plenary: "Incorporating White Space Models into Confe
  • Jun 22 2015 - Jun 25 2015: edACCESS 2015 24th annual conference, Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA.
    The premier conference for information technology professional staff at small schools. Adrian designed and will facilitate the entire four-day conference.
  • Sep 25 2015 - Sep 27 2015: Canada Executive Leadership Unconference 2015, .
    The Canada Executive Leadership Unconference 2015 (aka CELU 2015) will deliver first class thought leadership using the open space technology format. Participants will receive unique insights into best practices, and hear success stories involving leadership, management, technology, and career deve

For more upcoming events >>>>


From The Blog:

April 27, 2015

Can we do better than novelty at our meetings?

image

Novelty has its place in meetings. The latest cocktail. The hot new band. The color of the year. But novelty doesn’t have lasting impact. The first time, it’s an enjoyable transient experience. The next time it’s old.

Better however is a whole different kettle of fish. Better lasts. Better has long-term value.

So don’t fob off your meeting attendees event after event with an ever-changing stream of “new” or “different”. Go for better. You can reuse better over and over again—and your attendees will appreciate it every single time!

Makes sense, right? So why do we rarely shoot for better? Apple’s Jony Ive explains:

“‘Different’ and ‘new’ is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.”
—Sir Jony Ive, Apple Senior Vice President of Design, quoted in Business Week in 2009

Yes, better is very hard. But it’s worth it.

Image attribution: Flickr user dopey

Conferences That Work book cover

Thirty minutes free consulting included with book purchase on this site!

Download five free chapters here!

Where To Buy

Purchase eBook ($11), paperback ($26) or both ($32) via PayPal on this site. Signing and U.S. shipping included. Also available at your local bookseller, and online everywhere.



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Testimonial

Peer-led is a great method for practical learning. No agenda, no “axe to grind”, nothing to sell. This allows the conversation to steer toward useful information sharing. And, there were excellent folks leading these sessions.

— Conference evaluation
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