Conferences That Work http://www.conferencesthatwork.com Unconferences, peer conferences, participant-driven events, and facilitation Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:04:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 The two must-do steps to hire the best professional help http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/tip-2/2017/02/the-two-must-do-steps-to-hire-the-best-professional-help/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/tip-2/2017/02/the-two-must-do-steps-to-hire-the-best-professional-help/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:04:26 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9796 When you need professional help, how do you select the best professionals?

Countless experts — such as accountants, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, and meeting planners — will take your money in exchange for advice or services. So, when it’s time to minimize your taxes, modernize the bathroom, diagnose that stabbing stomach pain, draft a complex contract, or organize multiple regional conferences — in short, get help with something you can’t do yourself — how do you choose great help?

It isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t hear horror stories about accountants who can’t file a correct tax return, builders who make costly (and hilarious) mistakes, serious cases of medical malpractice, million dollar errors made by attorneys, and mistakes that meeting planners continue to make.

Why it’s hard to choose the right help
If you’ve never plumbed a kitchen sink in your life, how can you determine whether someone who says they’re a plumber really knows what they’re doing?

There’s a simple reason why it’s tricky to pick great professionals. If you need help, obviously you lack crucial knowledge or experience. So when you seek help, you don’t know if someone who claims to be able to help really can!

Don’t despair! Here are the two essential steps for hiring great professional help.

Ask for and check references
Everyone knows that you should ask for references for a professional who’s going to do work for you. Unfortunately, knowing you should do something doesn’t mean you will actually do it. How often do you ask for references from a professional you’re planning to hire? Do you ask a potential builder? An accountant? A doctor? In my experience, I am rarely asked for references.

In addition, many people ask for references but don’t check them! You may think that professionals are only going to give you the names of people who are satisfied with their services. While that’s usually true, talking to references will invariably turn up useful information. For example, you may discover that a plumber does good work but doesn’t finish in a timely fashion. Or an attorney writes competent contracts but his drafts need to be carefully checked to make sure that changes you request are actually incorporated. It’s not uncommon to hear information from a reference that immediately makes you decide not to employ the professional.

So getting and checking references before hiring is an essential step if you want to minimize unpleasant surprises. These days, crowd-vetted online sites like Angie’s List and houzz provide a helpful starting place, but you can’t beat talking directly to clients of professionals you’re considering.

See if they’ll say, “I don’t know”
My mother had an unusual set of medical symptoms, and had the misfortune to pick a doctor who was unable to admit that he didn’t know what was wrong with her. Instead, he told her that she had multiple sclerosis, which caused her much emotional upset. Years went by without the relapses or progressions normal to her illness, but she refused to believe that his diagnosis was wrong. Finally I called him up and confronted him, and he admitted that she did not have the disease. Years of suffering could have been avoided if we had ascertained at the outset that he was incapable of admitting that he didn’t have all the answers.

Checking to see if a professional will say they don’t know when they actually don’t is an important hiring step that is rarely performed. Interview the professional and ask them questions about the work you want them to do. Listen carefully to how they respond to your questions. You are looking for them to show that they know the limits of their abilities, and that they are willing to share their limits with you.

If necessary, ask whether they can do something that is a little outside their stated expertise and listen carefully to how they respond. If you hear an unwillingness to admit that they are not able to fulfill your request, you are receiving an important warning. Ignore it at your peril!

Choosing professionals who are aware of and clear and honest about their own limits ensures not only that they can actually do the work you need, but also that they will let you know when they are unequipped to handle any that problems. These are the people you want to work for you.

That’s it!
Faithfully execute these two simple steps when choosing professionals and you’ll avoid the common problems that occur when obtaining help with life’s challenges. These must-do steps have made it possible for me to pick competent, trustworthy help for years. I hope they help you too.

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Reasons to leave a job http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/consulting-2/2017/02/reasons-to-leave-a-job/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/consulting-2/2017/02/reasons-to-leave-a-job/#respond Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:05:03 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9784 My mentor Jerry Weinberg, consultant extraordinaire, has written an excellent list of reasons to leave a job.

In my career, I have left jobs when:

  • The job I was hired to do was finished.
  • The job I was hired to do could not be finished.
  • The job I was hired to do would be finished just fine without me.
  • I was not able to do the job I was hired to do.
  • The job I was hired to do wasn’t worth doing.
  • I was no longer learning new things (that’s my most frequent reason for leaving).
  • They told me that my pay was going to be “temporarily” delayed.
  • They asked me to do something illegal or unethical.

—Jerry Weinberg, What is the right reason to leave a job?

I’d like to add one more reason for leaving a job:

The pain of the job isn’t worth the gain.

Though this is related to Jerry’s 5th reason, I think it’s worth being explicit about the effect of a job on your mental, physical, or spiritual being. Many years ago I took on a client where every interaction was unpleasant. The owner argued with me about my recommendations, groused about my bills, and repeatedly implemented something different from what I had proposed and complained about the results. It took me a while, but one day I sat down and wrote him a letter that said I was unable to work for him anymore. It was the right decision, it felt good, and since then I’ve been better able to disengage in a timely fashion from work that isn’t working for me.

Sometimes you have no choice but to continue with a job you’d leave if circumstances were different. Sometimes you have no choice but to leave a job. But when you have a choice, don’t overlook your own needs because of a commendable but perhaps now misguided loyalty to the commitment you made when you began.

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The dark side of stories at events http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/the-dark-side-of-stories-at-events/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/the-dark-side-of-stories-at-events/#respond Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:43:55 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9744

Hans Bleiker tells a story about a group of scientists who spent several years carefully researching how to maintain the health of a deer herd, and determined that some minor changes in state hunting regulations would be very effective. At a public hearing, their entire case was undermined in 15 minutes by the testimony of a guy who loudly protested that his great-grandfather had helped his father shoot his first deer, his father had gone with him to shoot his first deer, and he’d be damned if some bunch of scientists were going to stop him help his son to shoot his first deer.

It’s been hard to miss the deluge of books and articles pointing out (correctly) that presenters who tell relevant, well-told stories have far more impact on listeners than those who recite a litany of facts. It’s not surprising that the most popular and highly paid professional speakers are those with a vivid story to tell — one that often follows some variant of the hero’s journey

Stories have great power to change our minds. They can do wonderful things: challenge our ingrained beliefs, make us aware of injustice, inspire us to be better human beings, and motivate us to act for the greater good.

Unfortunately, such power can also be used for evil. Stories can be used to inflict great damage.

Examples abound. Ronald Reagan’s mythical “welfare queen” has shaped U.S. welfare policy for 40 years. Chimamanda Adichie tells how childhood reading warps our view of the world. Stories of parents whose children developed the symptoms of autism soon after vaccination have led many people to not vaccinate their children, leading to the resurgence of preventable diseases even though scientific research has shown no connection between vaccination and autism.

Stories are dangerous, because, even with good intentions, stories can be wrong. And, more dangerously, they can be purposefully misleading. A child’s default belief is that stories they hear are true, and we tend to carry that belief into adulthood despite increasing experience that stories can be seriously biased and deceptive. The terrible way in which it has recently become routine for authority figures to publicly lie in order to achieve their own objectives is leading to a world where “alternative facts” are becoming the norm.

As event planners, we are often involved in selecting and supporting presenters who are given a platform to tell their stories to an audience, hopefully for good but possibly for nefarious reasons. While acknowledging the power of stories, let’s not forget that they can evoke dark passions in those who hear them. As people who make events happen, we bear a responsibility to decide whether we want to tacitly support those storytellers among us who use stories for immoral and unethical ends.

Photo attribution: Flickr user campascca

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Avoid this PayPal refund gotcha! http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/technology/2017/01/avoid-this-paypal-refund-gotcha/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/technology/2017/01/avoid-this-paypal-refund-gotcha/#respond Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:38:18 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9734

I’ve been an active and satisfied PayPal user for fifteen years and [crosses fingers] have not yet had any problems with the service. But I just experienced a gotcha! that could have easily overdrawn my PayPal-tied bank account. Luckily, I had a large enough balance at the time and no harm resulted, but I’m sharing what happened and how you can prevent the same thing happening to you.

A client had paid for his spot in one of my upcoming workshops, but needed to cancel shortly afterwards. He had paid me 900 euros (almost a thousand dollars) so I issued him a full PayPal refund from my euro balance. (Yes, PayPal accounts can work with multiple currencies, which is convenient when you are providing services internationally and your clients want to pay in local currencies.)

When you issue a full refund in PayPal, the company refunds your full variable transaction fee, but not the fixed portion of the fee. For transactions in the US, that’s a mere $0.30. For refunds on international transactions it’s higher, due to currency conversion issues. But the gotcha! I’m about to share is not restricted to international transactions; it can occur for any kind of refund.

Here’s the gotcha! My euro PayPal balance wasn’t quite large enough to cover the refund. I assumed that PayPal would zero out my euro balance and then take their small fixed fee out of my US dollar balance or my bank account.

Wrong! A few days later I scanned my online bank statement and discovered that PayPal had taken the entire refund out of my bank account, which now had a thousand dollars less in it than I’d thought! The euro balance was untouched.

Why did this happen? Here’s a PayPal FAQ on refunds with the crucial paragraph outlined:

{If you can’t read this, it says “If your PayPal account balance does not have enough money in it, the entire refund will be issued from the primary bank account linked to your PayPal account — here’s a link to the FAQ How do I issue a full or partial refund?}

Before I found this FAQ, I thought PayPal had made a mistake. I opened a case at the Resolution Center, which, to make a long story short, was a complete waste of time. So I called PayPal (888-221-1161), something I’ve never done before. It took about 25 minutes on hold, which is apparently not unusual, but the service rep I eventually spoke to explained what had happened and, unexpectedly, said she would issue a refund to make up the difference in the currency loss I would incur in turning my euros back into dollars. Sure enough, a ~$50 credit quickly appeared in my account once I’d zeroed out my euro balance — good service!

So how can you prevent this from happening to you? Simply, before making a refund ensure that your PayPal balance is large enough to completely cover it! This may require you to add a relatively small amount to the balance to cover the non-refundable fixed fee. Do this and you’ll avoid the possible financial consequences of an unexpectedly overdrawn bank account.

Hope this helps some folks. I’ve heard plenty of angry stories about PayPal over the years but have been fortunate to have none of my own. Feel free to share your own experience in the comments below.

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To build connection and engagement at events — give up control! http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/to-build-connection-and-engagement-at-events-give-up-control/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/to-build-connection-and-engagement-at-events-give-up-control/#respond Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:30:57 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9651 How can we build connection and engagement with people with whom we work?

My wise consultant friend Naomi Karten tells a short story about a client’s unexpected reaction. Frank had a bad experience with an earlier information technology project, so Naomi’s team gave him three possible approaches to a major system design and a list of the pluses and minuses of each.

“The plan was to let him select the approach he preferred in hopes that he’d gain more trust in us as a result…”

“…Frank jumped up, shouted, ‘How dare you develop options without my input!’ and marched out of the room…”

“…Instead of his seeing the options as giving him a say in our efforts, he may have seen us as preventing his input into the very idea of options. We saw ourselves giving him some control. He may have seen us as taking it away.”
—Naomi Karten, The Importance of Giving Others a Sense of Control

At traditional conferences, attendees choose from predetermined sets of sessions chosen by conference organizers. Think about your experience of such events. Have you found that much of the time, none of the choices supply what you actually need and/or want? Sadly, we’re so used to this state of affairs, we accept it as normal.

Conferences don’t have to be designed this way. Over the last twenty-five years, I’ve discovered that peer conferences, where participants determine the choices, provide a much better fit between the wants/needs of the attendees and the conference program they construct on-the-fly. This leads to significantly greater connection, engagement, and satisfaction.

Sometimes, giving people a limited number of options is not enough. Giving up control over the choices at your conferences by handing it over to the participants — using proven process, of course —is one of the best ways to build trust, connection, and engagement at your events.

Photo attribution: Flickr user kt

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Friends don’t let friends give away their content http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/social-media-2/2017/01/friends-dont-let-friends-give-away-their-content/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/social-media-2/2017/01/friends-dont-let-friends-give-away-their-content/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:23:09 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9693
Friends don’t let friends give away their original content to third-party platforms
I’ve been saying this for years, but do people listen? No they don’t.

Let me be clear, by all means share your content for free on any of the gazillion social media platforms available. And if you can get paid appropriately for creating content for others, good for you. Otherwise, make sure that your content remains under your control.

Why? Well, here are a few reminders:

  • Geocities was once the third most visited site on the internet. 38 million user-built pages! Nothing but a distant memory now, unless you live in Japan.
  • Remember when your friends saw everything you posted on Facebook? Not any more, unless you pay up.
  • Ah, those glorious days when you posted something in a LinkedIn group and a significant number of people would read it! Long gone.

Now the blog host site Medium announces a layoff of a third of its staff. There are millions of posts on the site. Will Evan Williams pull the plug some day?  Will social journalism survive? Who knows?

Get the picture? Posting your original content exclusively on someone else’s platform puts you at their mercy. Don’t do it!

Instead, invest in your own website
There are plenty of great platforms available, and lots of fine web hosting services to run them on. For example, this site uses WordPress on a Dreamhost VPS (Virtual Private Server).

Though this route involves more work and/or money than posting on a third-party platform, you:

  • Control your own content. You can add, edit, delete, and control comments on it at any time.
  • Determine how your content is presented. Want to insert an offer for your services or products in the middle of a blog post? No problem.
  • Retain full rights to your content. (One example: the rights to anything you post to Huffington Post belongs to them. And they don’t even pay you for the privilege of writing for them!)
  • Build your own brand, authority, and SEO, not that of a third-party site.
  • Maintain access to your content. If your web hosting service goes bankrupt or is unsatisfactory, you can transfer your content to a new host. As long as the internet is up and you pay your hosting service, your content will be available.

Seven years ago I started the website you’re reading. As expected, hardly anyone visited initially. As I steadily added content (at least once per week) viewership grew. According to my weblogs, this site is now one of the most popular websites on meeting design and related issues, with 31 million page views to date, 25 million of which were made in the last three years.

As a result, this website is now the largest source of client inquiries for my consulting and facilitating services — something I would never have predicted when it went live in 2009. And the ever-growing body of articles on this blog and the inbound links to them continue to build my brand, authority, and SEO.

This has been a PSA from Adrian Segar.

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Why meetings are more important than you think http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/why-meetings-are-more-important-than-you-think/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2017/01/why-meetings-are-more-important-than-you-think/#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 18:59:00 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9653 As 2017 begins, take a moment to think about meetings in a wider context. OK, a very wide context.

“Who am I?” We’ve all wondered about some form of this question. While the answer is left for an exercise for the reader (and this writer), Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and a pioneer in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, argues that our identity is not contained so much within us, but between us.

As Dan puts it:

“The self has been falsely characterized as being embedded in your body … The self being embedded in your body is not only wrong, it is a destructive belief … We have an internal-self of a ‘me’, and we do have an interconnected-self of a ‘we’. Both are important.”
Dr Daniel Siegel, “Why Compassion is Necessary for Humanity

Here’s the two-minute conclusion of Dan’s video:

While our primary relationships are usually with family and friends, professional relationships are also important, and meetings are typically the most effective way to form and develop then.

If then — as interpersonal neurobiology would have it — we are ultimately who we are because of our relationships, it follows that meetings are central to our being, our understanding of ourselves.

Cool!

Meetings. They’re more important than you think.

[Hat tip to Bernie De Koven, who provided the inspiration for this post and the video clip.]

Photo attribution: Flickr user Craig Sunter

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Replace “brain training” hype with something that works http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/learning/2016/12/replace-brain-training-hype-with-something-that-works/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/learning/2016/12/replace-brain-training-hype-with-something-that-works/#respond Mon, 26 Dec 2016 20:53:08 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9404 Driving home from the post office today, I finally heard one too many promotions for Lumosity brain training on my local NPR station. Lumosity, in case you somehow haven’t heard, is a subscription to online games that claim to improve memory, attention, cognitive flexibility, speed of processing, problem solving, and, for all I know, world peace too.

Despite the Federal Trade Commission slapping Lumosity’s creator, Lumos Labs, with a $50 million judgment (reduced to a $2 million fine) in January to settle charges of deceptive advertising that claimed — with no “competent and reliable scientific evidence” — that the games could help users achieve their “full potential in every aspect of life”, the company continues to bombard consumers with ads. Meanwhile, research on the efficacy of such programs has found little or no evidence that they make any difference to global measures of intelligence or cognition.

“I think claims these companies have been making — and Lumosity is not alone — have been grossly exaggerated. They’re trying to argue that we’re going to take you out of [the] active world … that we’re going to put you in a room alone in front of a computer screen and you’ll play a game that will make you smarter.”
“There is no compelling evidence for that.”
Dr. Laura Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity

At best, it turns out, these games somewhat improve the ability of players to … wait for it … play the games.

Which leads to a simple suggestion.

Instead of paying for programs that claim to “train your brain”, figure out what you want to do that actively engages your mind — and do it!

You’ll probably learn a thing or two about something that actually interests you. And, though I can’t guarantee that your mind will become healthier, your bank account definitely will be!

Illustration components from Flickr users isaacmao and gambort

 

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Virtual Meetings Lower Costs … and Interaction http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2016/12/virtual-meetings-lower-costs-and-interaction/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/event-design/2016/12/virtual-meetings-lower-costs-and-interaction/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:31:53 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9468

“Intel’s annual meeting was entirely virtual. There was no in-person gathering site, the questions were submitted in advance, and management and the board made all of their presentations online.”
Steven Davidoff Solomon, New York Times, Online Shareholders’ Meetings Lower Costs, but Also Interaction

I spent the summer of 1973 working for the Long-Range Studies Department of the British Post Office, a long-defunct group that attempted to predict the exciting future that new technologies would surely bring about. The Post Office had just built a few hideously expensive teleconferencing studios, connected by outrageously expensive telephone trunk lines, and one of our jobs was to find out what they could be used for. Could businesspeople be persuaded to stop traveling to meetings, to sit instead in comfortable local studios hundreds of miles apart, handsomely equipped with cameras, microphones, screens, and speakers that magically allowed them to meet as well as if they were all in the same room? Why yes, we concluded brightly in our final report:

“A substantial number of business meetings which now occur face-to-face could be conducted effectively by some kind of group telemedia.”

Forty years later, “group telemedia”, now known as virtual meetings, are firmly established and increasingly popular. Solomon’s New York Times article quoted above explores how some corporate shareholder meetings are now held virtually. The biggest advantages of virtual meetings are clearly convenience and much lower costs: no travel, venue, or F&B expenditures.

There are, however, some downsides.

Solomon points out that virtual shareholder meetings typically pre-empt meaningful shareholder interaction; convenient if management is facing awkward questions.

“It was no coincidence that the CSX Corporation held its 2008 meeting at a remote rail yard in New Orleans, the same year it was the focus of a shareholder activist putting up a proxy fight. In previous years, it had held those meetings at the luxurious Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, which the railroad owned at the time. A virtual meeting eliminates the potential for a public relations disaster.”

He contrasts such approaches with what some companies do:

“Think about the extravaganza that is the Berkshire Hathaway meeting. Days of talking and showing off the company’s products, including copious amounts of treats from Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. The Walt Disney Company’s meeting is also known for highlighting the company’s latest movie or ride. Even children can ask questions; one recent interaction led Disney’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, to give a private tour of Pixar to a child. Some companies are local legends where the entire town will gather. It is at these meetings that connections are made between the company and its shareholders.

Solomon concludes:

“By forcing everything onto the web, we lose the personal interaction. Everyone logs in and watches a preprogrammed set of questions and answers. And then everyone goes away. Management’s worldview is reaffirmed in the 10 or so minutes it allows for questioning, and there is no engagement except with those investors who own a portion of shares large enough to personally meet with management. It’s a modern world that is frightening in its disengagement.”

Online meetings offer a convenient and low-cost way to receive content, and they can provide limited interactivity. Yet you can also abandon one with the click of a mouse. Such meetings require little commitment, so it is harder to successfully engage participants when the cost of leaving is so low.

If you think of a meeting primarily as a way of transferring content, then online meetings seem attractive, inexpensive alternatives to face-to-face events. If, however, you value meetings as opportunities to make meaningful connections with others, face-to-face meetings offer significant advantages.

I believe that the unique benefits of face-to-face meetings will continue to be valued. The advantages of being physically present with other people, dining and socializing together, the serendipity of human contact, the opportunity to meet new people in person rather than hear a voice on the phone or see an image on a screen, the magic that can occur when a group of people coalesces; all these combine into more than the sum of their parts, building the potential to gain and grow long-term relationships and friendships. Anyone who has been to a good face-to-face conference knows that these things can happen, and that, either in the moment or in retrospect, they may even be seen as pivotal times in one’s life.

 

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U.S. and Europe Power of Participation Workshops registration opens! http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/workshop/2016/12/u-s-and-europe-power-of-participation-workshops-registration-opens/ http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/index.php/workshop/2016/12/u-s-and-europe-power-of-participation-workshops-registration-opens/#respond Mon, 12 Dec 2016 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/?p=9525

“Adrian Segar is so good at what he does, once you go to a conference that uses his methods, you never want to go to a regular conference again.”
— Traci Browne

Whether you’re in the U.S. or Europe, I’ve got a POPWORKS workshop for you! Every workshop is a unique opportunity for event owners, planners, moderators, designers, and presenters to:

  • learn experientially how to make your conferences and conference sessions far more engaging and effective;
  • gain powerful meeting design insights that will allow you to maximize learning, connection, engagement, and action outcomes; and
  • significantly increase owner and attendee satisfaction and participation at your sessions and events.

February 2-3, 2017: RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1½-day workshop, registration now open — €895. The first ten registrants will receive a signed paperback copy of The Power of Participation (€25 value).

March 20-21, 2017: Catalyst RanchChicago 1½-day workshop, registration now open —$599 if you register by January 7, $699 afterwards. The first ten registrants will receive a signed paperback copy of The Power of Participation ($26 value). The Convention Industry Council’s CMP Preferred Provider Program has approved this workshop for 16.00 CE hours.

The POPWORKS format focuses on active learning through direct experience of a multitude of participatory meeting techniques. We’ll use cycles of experiences followed by debriefs, interspersed with short “theory bites” that cover important background knowledge and concepts. Techniques will be introduced in approximately the order they might appear during a typical participation-rich event. The syllabus below gives more detail on what will be covered.


I’ll lead the workshop (with the help of participants from time to time). I’ve been convening, designing, and facilitating conferences for over 35 years, concentrating on participant-driven and participation-rich event facilitation and design since 1992.

Watch this short video to learn more about POPWORKS.

Learn more about Adrian and his books.

Testimonials from earlier workshops

  • “I saw Adrian facilitating today, he’s a wizard, amazing :-).” — Thorben Grosser, General Manager, Europe, EventMobi
  • “ I have heard nothing but glowing reviews about your workshop with GaMPI. I am sick that I missed it. You left a lasting impression and helped our group a lot.” — Stephanie Henriksen, former Director of Curriculum, Georgia MPI Chapter
  • “ Your workshop was a breath of fresh air.” — Participant at Adrian’s 2012 EIBTM Participation Techniques Workshop
  • “ I’ve been sending e-mails to clients apologizing for NOT coming by their offices and taking them to Adrian’s presentation. I am so ashamed! I kept THEM from experiencing one of the most productive and informative workshops I have ever attended. It was great networking too!” — Kevin Priger
  • “Just came back from @AffordableMTGS in Chicago. @ASegar was the best facilitator/presenter…by far!” — De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM, former Director of Education, Ohio MPI Chapter
  • “The attendees are still here talking to each other! That never happens!”  — Association education director, ten minutes after Adrian finished facilitating a national forum
  • “Events need engagement and participation, and Adrian Segar is the lead authority on the subject.” —  Julius Solaris, Editor of Event Manager Blog
  • “…one of the very best facilitators I’ve ever worked with onsite.”  — Mitchell Beer, President, Smarter Shift

Syllabus

Workshops start after lunch on Day 1 and continue into the evening (includes dinner). On Day 2, workshops run for approximately eight hours (includes lunch and, at Catalyst Ranch, breakfast). Participants must be present at the start of the workshop, and full attendance is strongly recommended for the best possible experience.

During each workshop you’ll get to know and connect with the other participants around common interests, share your own useful experience and expertise, and, guided by Adrian, learn what you want and need to know from everyone present. Because the agenda is somewhat flexible, a precise schedule is not given here, but the following techniques, theory bites, and much more will be covered over the 1½ days.

Techniques covered

Some techniques will be experienced as components of others. This will help develop participants’ tool chests of techniques that can be brought into service when needed.

  • The Three Questions
  • Roundtable
  • Human spectrograms
  • Crowdsourcing techniques
  • Anonymous, semi-anonymous, and public voting techniques
  • The Solution Room
  • Peer sessions
  • Fishbowls
  • Small group work
  • Personal introspective
  • Plus/Delta
  • Group spective

Theory bites

  • How covenants transform your event
  • Why incorporating participation is important
  • Why participation works
  • Environments that support participation (several sessions)
  • Experience versus listening
  • Emotion versus thinking
  • The gifts of listening and capture
  • Maintaining attention
  • Effective short form formats
  • Using white space at events
  • Planning versus improv
  • What you need to know about technology that you don’t
  • Encouraging connections outside sessions
  • Finding and working with peer facilitators
  • Evaluation traps

Stay informed about workshops or help Adrian hold one!
Can’t attend one of these workshops but want to be informed of future workshops in your preferred workshop region(s)? Want to discuss partnering on a local workshop, or suggest a suitable venue? Have questions? Please fill out the form below. All information collected will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

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