How Do You Make A Conference Unique

Jan 30, 2024

This week, I have five ridiculously innovative and practical ideas to weave into your events to make them more engaging and memorable:

  1. Start with the Unexpected: Encourage immediate engagement by doing something unexpected at the beginning. For example, use name badges that prompt attendees to share their favorite topics of conversation, turning a simple introduction into a dynamic conversation starter.
  2. Connect to Purpose: Emphasize the importance of linking conference activities to attendees’ professional goals. Begin the event with a strong, purposeful statement that outlines the conference’s relevance and aims to keep attendees focused and motivated.
  3. Prioritize Connection Over Content: Suggests rethinking the traditional conference format by delaying the opening keynote to allow for initial connection-building activities. Advocates for integrating interactions into the agenda to foster human connections and make the conference experience more valuable.
  4. Create an Insights Wall: Implement an “insights wall” where attendees can post valuable takeaways throughout the event. This encourages collective learning and makes the conference’s collective wisdom visible and accessible to all participants.
  5. Reimagine the Closing Keynote: Instead of a conventional closing speech, propose a session dedicated to sharing and discussing the collective wisdom and connections formed during the event. This debriefing session focuses on actionable next steps, enhancing the likelihood that attendees will apply what they’ve learned.

And all of these reasons are why I created the Connection Toolkit. It’s been recently updated to include a really cool fold-out map with dozens of exercises, collaborative group things, introvert-friendly and extrovert-friendly activities, and a ton of other resources to help people make connection and engagement.