by Adrian Segar

Some testimonials about Adrian Segar’s conferences, facilitation, designs, and writing provided by participants, clients, and fans over the last 13 years:

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This book completely transformed the way I organize, host, and participate in events. It’s darn near impossible to go back to the traditional, uninspired, and ultimately counter-productive event format after finding Adrian Segar’s far superior Conferences That Work and The Power of Participation models.

I love how Segar puts all the activities into the context of a conference arc – openers, middle, and closers – and breaks down when you’ll benefit most from a certain exercise, participant minimums or maximums before they become ineffective, and ready-to-use scripts that explain the exercises to a participant. From guidance on timekeeping, providing explicit ground rules (a.k.a. your “covenant”) for participants, how to facilitate and ask great questions, and more, this book really covers an amazing amount of ground.

I put the framework and some of the activities to the test in a recent two-day SimpleREV event that I co-organized and co-hosted. My participants loved – *loved* – the opening Roundtable and the closing Personal Introspective. Our real-time feedback and event survey confirmed what we thought we were gambling on (but was really a sure thing): people felt more connected, better supported, and had outright more fun with The Power of Participation-sourced action.

Whether you’re running a small corporate meeting or a large international conference, you’ll enjoy the planning and hosting better – and your attendees will be happily pushed outside their comfort zone – with the mindset and tools from this book.

It seems unfathomable to me that anyone who reads this book and truly cares about a participant’s experience would ever organize a traditional meeting or event again. I know I’ll never look at events the same way … and I’ll certainly never run them the same way either.

I left SimpleREV 2015 stronger, more informed, and more excited about life than I ever have been before! Honestly, the best weekend of my life so far. I am not exaggerating.

SimpleREV 2015 was the truest sense of community I’ve ever felt and it was beautiful to experience. I hope you have the opportunity to experience something like this in your lifetime. It changes everything.

If you’re a meeting planner or an event organizer, try a Personal Introspective at the end of your event—it is just phenomenal!

I subscribed to your newsletter for conferences. I appreciate the gems on group and large group facilitation. Thank you.

— Dutch Driver

@ErnieSmithAN you’re absolutely right… @ASegar is perhaps my favorite blogger #expochat

— Michael Doane @medoane June 15, 2016 tweet, @ErnieSmithAN you're absolutely right… @ASegar is perhaps my favorite blogger #expochat— Mich

Looking forward to the #edAccess Conference next week! Best professional development for indy school IT directors there is!

— Tim Maki, @timmaki

Reading [The Power of Participation] by @ASegar. Learning and loving it. A must for people who run meetings, conferences & trainings.

I think @ASegar does an amazing job of introducing new ideas to the conversation. He’s a smart cookie.

@ASegar is perhaps my favorite blogger

“…your company in many ways sets the stage others can learn from”

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.

To my fellow #eventprofs out there, Adrian Segar is my favorite professional follow on Twitter. His content has real depth (I suspect *he* has real depth.)

Conferences That Work…is another great source for tips on how to create memorable events. Adrian Segar, one of our favorite eventprofs, writes this blog, and we think it is a must-read for first timers and conference planning pros alike.

We’ve done our first Peer Conference! The participant liked the roundtable & to be in control of the program. ☺Thanks @ASegar for the concept.

[Conferences That Work’s] blog offers loads of invaluable posts about conference design, facilitation, and peer conferences. Adrian is a fantastic and very very very experienced event professional.

My favorite facilitator & event designer (@ASegar) has some new workshops. Learn about the Power of Participation -> https://t.co/uQKVE01qIf

Dear conference organizers…I beg you, please sign up for one of Adrian’s workshops. Your attendees will thank you. It will be the best investment you make all year…perhaps well into the future as well.

— Traci Browne

Not many event professionals have such insights on the content aspect of event planning like you do, it has been a pleasure to read.

— Yohai Rosen

The master of participatory meetings.

— Rosa Garriga Mora

You are the man! I urge event planners to visit your website, follow you, and read your two exceptional books.

Adrian Segar has literally written the book on low-tech audience engagement—The Power of Participation is a field guide for getting people moving around, brainstorming and, above all, participating in a meeting or event, with little or no technology involved. It includes advice on room setups, voting techniques and even ways to display complex information such as graphs and charts using zero PowerPoint slides—just the bodies in the room. Any company or organization looking to break the bonds of the same old boring meeting should definitely give it a look.

…reading Conferences That Work. Wow, even when he talks about stuff I know about he knows _so_ much more. Really good book.

Follow Adrian’s blog if you want strong opinions from an industry veteran. We also recommend checking out some of his books.

So, what is it I really like about this conference?
—— It’s a peer conference. No one is trying to sell me stuff I don’t need, but rather people share what they are interested in…
—— The organizers Credo. The conference is stating very clear values, and their actions are true to their words. If I have to try to put my own words to the main principles that guide this conference…it would be something like this:
1. This conference is about conferring. Meeting people who take interest in testing and getting a chance to talk with them. Yep, it’s not only about the speakers, it’s about listening to everyone who attends.
2. This conference is as diverse and inclusive as the organizers can make it, and this means there are a ton of different experiences around. And they can do quite a lot.
3. They are here to change the conference world…The short version – They see speakers as partners and try to make sure speakers don’t have to pay to speak. The really cool thing? They also help speakers who can’t afford speaking in other conferences.
—— They learn and experiment. I thought they had it all nailed down the first time – Everything was great, and so well organized. I was amazed. Next year, There were several new experiments – speed meeting was one of them (I didn’t like it much, others did – quite a lot). I really want to know what they are planning for this year.
—— They listen – By the end of each conference day, they did a retrospective. They took the feedback in and worked to improve. For instance, following the feedback from last year, workshops will be given twice. They also go an extra mile to collect feedback – last year they had people with an app standing at the exits just asking for a good\bad\neutral feedback on the talk.
—— They stress audience participation. I mentioned it once already, but it is such a huge thing in the conference I think it deserves a bullet of its own. Even if you are not a speaker, there will be place for you to share your ideas and what excites or worries or interests you – we had lightning talks, lean coffee and open space – all dedicated to letting the participants to find their own voice.
—— They care. A lot. I can’t really pinpoint this to one specific behavior, but every choice I could see shows great care for the people involved.

I just came across your work this summer, and we have been able to put your ideas to use with a large event and in several meetings. I look forward to your posts and really dream about being able to attend POPWORKS. I also have an interest in teaching these skills to middle and high school students. THANKS for your work.

— Angie Stoner

This is a revolutionary book…This book [Conferences That Work] will change what you want to do and how you want to do it if you’re in the meetings industry, conference producing, meeting planner — even if you’re an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, coach, trainer, author and you’re thinking of doing events.

Just eavesdropping, and I want to let you know how excited everyone is about the way you’re doing this.

— Venue staff member’s unsolicited comment to Adrian at a September 2017 peer conference

I’m an introvert. I’ve never shared as much at a conference before. Your process is brilliant. Thank you.

— Conference participant at September 2017 peer conference

For me, the most rewarding part of the day, was the 30 minutes I had with you to pick your brain. I love your approach to meetings and conferences and I am nothing short of inspired after our discussion. I am so looking forward to reading your books, you are an absolute change agent for this industry.  It felt like a light bulb moment for me, and this is something I really want to study and pursue further. Thank you for being such an inspiration, I very much hope we have an opportunity to work together again.

— Joanna Bates, Head of Events Management, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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