A Conference is Like a Concert

Categories: BMT Courses, Conference, Feedback, LeadershipAuthor:

As a guest speaker at the BMT conference in Chicago I have to say the whole event was superbly choreographed by John and Nicole. I speak at many conferences and hardly any of them live up to the standards set by the Reaching Results team in Chicago. The things I care most about as a guest speaker are that the AV techy stuff works properly and that everything runs on time, this way I can enjoy the rest of the show in the knowledge that all I have to do is prepare my bit and the rest will flow.

The feedback at this conference was especially rich in quality, John & Nicole asked people to jot down feedback after each speaker and also set up a ‘survey monkey’ for people to set out their feedback on line, post conference. I would urge conference goers to take a look at the results of this feedback. I am sure there are lessons for future conferences. John even did a small spot on what types of feedback you get at conferences just to train the rest of us that platitudes do not constitute good feedback, it’s the insightful feedback we want, we all want more of that.

One interesting thing that caught my eye while reading the feedback was the desire from some people to receive the details of the speeches. I think this is a paradigm slip, a conference is like a concert, you sit back and enjoy it, you don’t ask for the score to study afterwards. Most of the talks were based on a theme of some sort but most speakers were improvising on their own theme, I guess a conference of this type is more like a jazz concert, there is no score, there are themes that everyone plays around, it’s what makes it fun for all.

Most of the speakers have written articles, books, blogs, newsletters, most of the material is available anyway. I would urge conference goers in future to sit back and enjoy the show, it’s probably the best technique for learning that there is plus you get to relax and have some fun as well.

One Response to A Conference is Like a Concert

  1. Jan Pierce says:

    Knowing that feedback is useful, I am happy to respond to your blog, Howard. I respectfully disagree with your conceptualization of a conference. I go to conferences and pay the “big bucks” to learn additional material first, THEN to network, enjoy social experiences, etc. If this were not the case, I can go anywhere to “sit back and enjoy” and re-read information in print, but came to this conference specifically to see what speakers had to say to further explain what I had read, seen, on this website and other readings. As a matter of fact, your comment about speakers just coming and improvising was a bit disconcerting as typically I would hope that speakers come prepared specifically to provide specific material to a particular audience. And, I am sure that most speakers do this, but your wording was a bit unclear as to this. Due to the number of speakers, an outline to assist in the organization of the various talks would GREATLY enhance the overall experience for me.

    On a related note, your comments on mine and others’ feedback asking
    for more formal notes comes across as rather punishing of giving that feedback to begin with! The point of feedback I thought.. was to discuss anything that the participant feels might be helpful to change. By saying in essence.. that is NOT what a conference is about, it certainly does not reinforce additional feedback whether or not you envision conferences in this way or not. I do want to reiterate that I greatly enjoyed this conference overall.. and all of my feedback reflects that.

    Reply

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