I know I’ve touched on conferences before, but as I sit on a flight out to my next biggest conference – I figured I’d dust off some of my thoughts around conferences and their relative value in Corporate America. This will be the biggest conference I’ve ever been on the hook for – almost 900 participants.
- It’s really hard to get 900 people on the same page without some great materials, strategy, and energy
- Planning for an event like this should really start 12 months out; I unfortunately probably did 80% of the pre-work within the last 90 days (partially my fault/procrastination, partially at the discretion of other team members/senior leaders)
- Having 900 people is awesome because I got to engage a production company to support things like stage design/setup, audio/visual, and other items
- Having 900 people sucks because organizing that sort of chaos is extremely difficult on the people logistics side (i.e. how do 900 people all get a bathroom break in 15 minutes if bathrooms around the facility only have capacity for 4-5 at a time??)
- The biggest challenge in this sort of endeavor is making sure everyone’s voices are heard
- This is my job every day, and it is simultaneously the single most rewarding and the single most frustrating thing about my job
- Inevitably, many voices will not be heard, or will not be voiced
- Even for those who are “heard” – there is still a very good chance the voice may be ignored by competing priorities or varied direction that is preferred by senior leaders
- I love and hate conference planning and execution at the same time – I really mostly just wish I had the ability to care a little less about the details
At least this one’s in Vegas – wish me luck!!
Til Next Time,