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."



Are you wondering how to start a new conference of peers who don't know each other well? 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 your events suffering from falling attendance, evaluations, or profits? I can help!

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

I design and facilitate Conferences That Work: innovative, highly interactive, attendee-driven events that leverage attendees' expertise and experience to create just the conference that participants want. If necessary, you can include traditional plenary sessions into this innovative, time-tested format 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, working title The Power of Participation, will be a guide to and compendium of participation techniques you can use to increase engagement and learning at any conference session.

Quick Links

An introduction to participant-led events: Demystifying The Unconference.

Named one of the 68 most innovative people in events by BizBash magazine.

How We Learn: The Books That Changed Meetings by Connect magazine.

A Meeting for Attendees, by Attendees by MeetingsNet magazine.

Voted one of the Top 5 Blogs in the Meetings and Events Industry.

Included in Top 10 Event Professionals Worth Knowing on Social Media.

Author of one of CVENT's 5 Favorite Event Industry Blog Posts.

Author of one of 5 Favorite Event Industry Blog Posts.

Planning the Unconference article about my work in Meetings & Conventions Magazine.

23 blog posts and videos about EventCamp EastCoast, a peer conference for event professionals that Adrian organized and facilitated in November 2010.

20 slides x 20 seconds Pecha Kucha talk "Face Your Fear—Change Your Event Design" given at EventCamp Twin Cities, September 2010

Howard Givner's review of EventCamp East Coast.

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>>>>

  • Jul 20 2014 - Jul 24 2014: Caux Conference: Seeds of inspiration, .
  • Jul 26 2014 - Aug 01 2014: Caux Conference: Children as actors for transforming society, The Caux Centre, Caux, Switzerland.
  • Aug 03 2014 - Aug 08 2014: Caux Conference: Learning to live in a multicultural world, The Caux Centre, Caux, Switzerland.
  • Aug 10 2014 - Aug 13 2014: Caux Conference: International Peace-Builders’ Forum, The Caux Centre, Caux, Switzerland.
  • Sep 18 2014 - Sep 20 2014: FinCon peer conference for personal finance media, New Orleans.
    FinCon is a peer conference for personal finance media. 700+ of the best bloggers and financial minds around today participate to connect, learn to create compelling online content, and discover the latest trends in the world of personal finance. FinCon is an annual event with a dual mission:

For more upcoming events >>>>


From The Blog:

July 22, 2014

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation Confab on Event Closings

NCDD ConfabJoin me, Sandy Heierbacher, Lisa Heft, Tim Merry, and Susanna Haas Lyons July 29, 2 – 3 pm EST, for a free one-hour National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation Confab call as we dig into challenges and strategies for planning and managing effective closings at participatory events.

The five of us have extensive experience closing large-scale events using approaches such as Open Space, World Cafe, Conferences That Work, Art of Hosting, and 21st Century Town Meetings.

The Confab will be an informal conversation (no pre-planned presentations!) where we’ll share different strategies for closing participatory events (with an emphasis on larger events) and common challenges and concerns. For instance, for large participatory events: how can you involve everyone in the room in a way that is powerful and meaningful, without being too cheesy or taking too much time?

You can participate by asking questions and sharing your own experiences. We look forward to a fun, productive confab!

Register (it takes one minute, promise) and we’ll send you information on how to join the call.

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

Adrian Segar’s Conferences that Work gives an excellent overview of the session – so there is no need to rehash here. But having been through [The Solution Room], I can say that it was one of the most effective networking events I’ve seen. — Nathan Coe Marsh, http://orlandocorporatemagician.com/blog/2013/09/11/event-planners-captivate-by-design-part-iii-rapport/

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