News You Can Use For Planning Meetings and Events

Some ideas worth considering as you plan different aspects of your upcoming meetings and events.

A lot of my inspiration for my weekly blog posts comes from articles, press releases, or whatever else has caught my attention recently. With that in mind, here are three things I wanted to share that may serve as food for thought and good reminders as you go about planning your upcoming meetings:

Attention-grabbing content. Think your attendees have short attention spans and only want bite-sized learning? Think again. That’s the conclusion David McMillin came to in a blog post late last month. In it, he summarizes points made by Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson, who noted that all forms of media are getting more complex. As examples, he offered up Game of Thrones—which revolves around many, many characters and a dense plotline—and the exploding popularity of longform podcasts.

For event organizers, these are important trends to watch. “In the age of bullet-point blog posts and bite-sized educational sessions, there is still space for content and programming that requires readers and attendees spend more time and effort to really think,” McMillin wrote. “It just has to engage them and be worth it… ”

Points for personality. Not everyone thinks the same way, which means that while your message may work for one person, it may miss the mark with four others. In an article posted by Fast Company earlier this week, writer Anett Grant discusses how you can get your point across to five different personality types. For instance, problem solvers will respond best to “solutions-oriented, technical terms,” while creative types  want visual imagery to “imagine possibilities they may not have even considered.”

For conference speakers and meeting planners, there are lots of good takeaways here about how you could adjust your speaking style and session formats to fit attendees’ thinking styles and personalities. And for marketers, the advice could prove beneficial when you’re trying to get prospects to hit that “register now” button on your website.

The year ahead. Association management company SmithBucklin released its 15th annual Circuit publication last month, which features its “20 for 2018,” a series of commentaries highlighting the issues and trends that will affect associations in the next year. Among the 20 related to meetings and events: collaborative technology, brain dating, and augmented related. However, the trend I found most compelling was the idea of “festivalization.”

“Festivalization is the buzzword-of-the-day for large conferences and corporate meetings that create community-like atmospheres in order to engage attendees through collective experiences,” writes SmithBucklin. For associations, this may involve activities like volunteer projects that support the local community or organized attempts for attendees to try and break a world record.

What other interesting news or blog posts have you come across recently that are sparking ideas for your meetings or events?

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Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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