CONFERENCE HACK #4: There’s gotta be Glue to Make it Stick…

“Employees won’t believe what their leaders are saying until they’ve heard it seven (!) times”.

Patrick Lencioni (The Advantage)

Lencioni couldn’t have given better advice for those organizing their next offsite! It’s critical that one of the events team meticulously ensures EVERY session is consistently hammering the same THEME.

So often I attend conferences where a truck load has been invested in the venue, AV, accommodation, great speakers & MC, gala dinners etc… and each element is INCREDIBLE in its own right. So what’s the problem then Cas? There is NO GLUE holding the different sessions together and as a result delegates leave inspired… but unsure what was the main message to take back to the workplace.

YOU  have the best umbrella view of all the components of the offsite (from speakers to gala dinner theming) it is CRITICAL that YOU take OWNERSHIP of ensuring EVERY session has synergy and continuity that ties into the over arching KEY THEME. This is doubly critical when engaging external speakers (like me) invited to speak to your team. It’s much less work for speakers (ie me) to rock up and deliver a wham-bam keynote that anecdotally glosses over some themes that is super inspiring and well told, but doesn’t drive home your KEY THEME.

In engaging an external presenter, take the time to ensure they:

  1. Have direct expertise/ anecdotes that are applicable to your KEY THEME (before you lock them in).
  2. Understand how important it is for your conference KEY THEME to be addressed. Properly. I mean really properly! I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but 90% of most external speakers deliver the same keynote to every organization! Make us work for our fee. Ensure your speaker actually puts some legit pre-engagement prep work into ensuring that they tweak their keynote/ workshop to address your KEY THEME.

Once the delegates have left the venue and are busy back at work, you know you’ve hit a home run if those that attended are aligned on a few key points linked to YOUR conference KEY THEME.

Feel free to get in touch if you’d like any more info or support in building a successful offsite for your team.