Conversations => Relationships => Value (Part 1)

I admit it
I do not have a good reaction when someone talks about the return on investment (ROI) from attending an event.

My initial internal response is a rant:

Do we ask for the ROI when we buy tickets to a concert?

How can you evaluate the ROI for learning something new or seeing something in a new way?

And my favorite: So, what is the ROI on a wedding? (Please don’t respond with an analysis of the average value of wedding gifts versus the cost of the wedding. I’d probably argue diminished responsibility at the subsequent trial.)

Conversations Relationships Value part 1In some ways, my reaction is alarmingly similar to the message of the brilliant formula for the MasterCard advertisement:

[List of mundane items with $ assigned]
[Intangible item – Priceless!]

The delicious subtext: Forget the money, whip out the credit card, and go to the event anyway!

The morning after
OK, it’s strong black coffee time. Whether the benefits are intangible or concrete, we all know that there is some kind of calculation that goes on when a potential attendee decides whether to attend an event. I’ve written about how existing event ROI methodologies are a noble attempt to quantify this calculation and give it as much respectability and logic as we can. So, enough on ROI; here’s a core component of Conference 2.0.

Conversations => Relationships => Value

In Part 2 of this post, I explain why this sequence is now an important driver of modern meeting design, and how it’s enhanced by Conference 2.0 designs.

Photo attribution: Flickr user alanchan

2 thoughts on “Conversations => Relationships => Value (Part 1)

  1. As an attendee (especially for a corporate event), we tend to need to justify and answer to our bosses why are we taking time off from work to attend an event and what ever benefit will we obtain on top of the costs that is going to be paid for by the company.

    Sometimes “Hey boss, XX is going to attend this event and I am going to try to get to speak to him” works, and sometimes it doesn’t as the opportunity is not concrete enough. Many times, you don’t really know who else is attending the event other than the speakers. You have to turn up to find out and that is not exactly an attractive proposition for the bosses.

    Does the real challenge lies instead with the organisers capability to quantify and communicate the networking potential at their events?

    1. Yan, I think you’ve hit on an interesting way to sell attendance at an event. Knowing in advance a) who’s going to be there and b) which attendees are valuable for you to meet face to face could provide convincing ammunition for a would-be attendee.

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