Lunchtime Links: Facing Your Failures

Find out which perpetual event pitfalls to avoid. Also: Give old conference-planning methods a break, and replace them with quality, concurrent sessions.

In today’s Lunchtime Links, learn what slip-ups are simply unacceptable to guests:

Familiar with failure: Typically, we share encouraging tips and tricks to help guide event planners toward success. However, we all know stuff happens. Event Manager Blog editor Julius Solaris explains that while an unforeseen error can be viewed as a learning lesson, repeated mistakes are an absolute no-no. He provides a list of “20 event-planning fails” that attendees can’t stand, covering a range of classic and more modern issues. These include hiring the same speakers time after time, slow on-site registration table and ill-prepared staff, problems with WiFi, and not knowing the hashtag for the event. “If you see your attendees wandering and feeling a bit lost, you need to act,” Solaris writes. “Planning means making guests feel catered for at all times.”

Engage, inspire, elevate: All conference planners want to educate and enrich the minds of their audience members. But the traditional formula of awkward icebreaker activities, long-winded guest speakers, and all-too-brief breakout sessions can stifle this goal. As Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt puts it, educational sessions are the “meat and potatoes of conferences.” Providing guests with anything less than well-prepared, enlightening programming defeats the purpose of the event. Luckily, Hurt offers several ideas to help event planners upgrade their breakout sessions. Among them is opting for more interactive sessions and more informative speakers. “Organizations are craving innovative session formats and presenters who make education more participatory through improved facilitation versus the lecture,” he writes.

Rework recruitment: Anyone involved in hiring will tell you it can be a hit-or-miss exercise. Rather than taking another risk by hiring from the outside, staff writer Jeremy Quittner suggests sifting through your staff for a perfect fit for a promotion. He also notes a growing trend among recruiters to take a more objective approach to hiring. Quittner writes that “many are using neuroscience to create new recruiting tools that aim to help business owners make smarter choices about who they hire, or to discover how their current employees could do better in general.” He mentions companies such as human resources firm Mercer, which is using diagnostic games created by Pymetrics to test employees’ intellectual and emotional characteristics.

What are some additional ways to improve recruitment? Share your take the comments below.

Alexis Williams

By Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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