Monday, August 26, 2013

Creating Great Conferences and Generation Gaps: Association Readings for the Week

This is Crowdsourcing in Action and it’s AwesomeBy Maddie Grant via SocialFish

Rick Johnston and I presented a session (well, Rick presented, and I ran around the room helping people log in ) at ASAE13 called Problem Solving Live! where we took the audience through an exercise in crowdsourcing. (Read a refresher on what crowdsourcing is here.)

With the help of Josh Folk from Ideascale, a crowdsourcing platform (see resources from Ideascale here), we asked for ideas related to this challenge

We have all left conferences feeling that there were attendees we should have met and did not… people with common interests, experiences, challenges. If only our associations could facilitate these connections, our members would find extra value in the meetings and recognize our associations as helping to expand our professional and personal network of colleagues. But how can we best do that?

Do conference attendees know what they want?
by Adrian Segar via Conferences that Work
How you program conferences depends (or ought to) on your answer to the question: Do conference attendees know what they want?

No one ever asks this question, of course. But if they did, the conventional answer, given while under the influence of truth serum, would have to be: “No they don’t. That’s why we have a program committee that puts together a set of sessions that’s tailored to our audience.”

The problem with this answer is that, after twenty years of running participant-driven conferences where I’ve had the luxury of comparing what participants chose to do with what the organizers predicted they wanted, I know the following to be true:

The best conference program committees predict only half the program sessions that attendees really want.

Think about that for a moment. Half or more of the sessions in your last conference were not what your attendees really wanted.

What a waste.
How To Create A Bodacious, Mind-boggling, Unforgettable Conference
By Jeff Hurst via Velvet Chainsaw Marketing’s Mid Course Corrections

Now, more than ever, conference organizers can’t continue to play it safe!
  1. Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Courageous
  2. Adopt The Maker’s Culture Attitude
  3. Put People At The Center Of The Experience
  4. Provide Context And Value By Solving Their Needs - See more at:
  5. Emotions Matter More Than Technology
  6. Question Established Norms
  7. Better Creative Conference Experiences Lead To Better Business Results - See more at:
  8. Build Your Conference Experience Around A Higher Purpose - See more at:
There's a Generation Gap in Your Workplace 
By Susan Sorenson and Keri Garman via Gallup Business Journal
People say the Baby Boom generation, because of its size, always gets what it wants. That may be true in many realms, but not in the workplace. Baby Boomers -- along with Generation X employees -- are distinctly less engaged at work than other generations.

Baby Boomers have the lowest level of engagement and the highest level of active disengagement.

The oldest and youngest workers in the American workplace are the most likely to be engaged, according to Gallup research. Traditionalists (born in 1945 or earlier) have the highest level of engagement at 41% engaged, followed by 33% for Millennials (born in 1981 or later). That's great news -- except those generations are also by far the smallest percentage of the workforce. Together, they comprise only 12% of all employees in the U.S.

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