Content versus conversation

At our events, what should be the mix between content versus conversation?Content vs conversation 515731969_9df2505684

A few days ago during an #eventprofs chat I tweeted Cory Doctorow’s remark (made in 2006 in a boing-boing post): Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about. This inspired a variety of comments from such #eventprofs luminaries as @JeffHurt @MichaelMcCurry @lyksumlikrish @JaredGoldberg @camerontoth and @samuelsmith.

Here’s the point I was trying to make.

Sure, we need to have content at our events – something to talk about. But content is everywhere—I don’t need to go to an event to get content! If I never left my office again (now there’s a thought), as long as I paid my internet provider’s bill each month, I could choose, receive, and absorb content for the rest of my life.

And what a miserable life that would be.

I need connection, engagement, conversation to make my life meaningful. And, in my experience, so does most of the human race.

Content these days is ubiquitous. Face-to-face events are the places for powerful, life-changing connection and engagement. That’s why we need to make them the best possible environments for conversation we can. And when we do, our conversations will naturally encompass the content that is meaningful for us.

That’s why, for me, conversation is king.

Image attribution: / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

2 thoughts on “Content versus conversation

  1. Adrian I couldn’t agree with you more about the purpose of face-to-face events:

    “But content is everywhere—I don’t need to go to an event to get content!…Face-to-face events are the places for powerful, life-changing connection and engagement.”

    Event professionals should focus on delivering the best content in order to facilitate and encourage conversations. I made a similar point in an article encouraging planners to promote the content of their Speaker’s presentations and handouts before and after their events and stop worrying about whether or not this will impact their registration rates (
    “Attendees don’t only come to your conference to get presentation materials. Attendees come to network, be a part of the discussion, to learn from experts in the field and yes, to let loose and party!” Kudos on another great post and I look forward to seeing you in the next #eventprofs chat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *