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If A Conference Was Ice Cream...

Is the conference/summit format of delivering events still relevant?

Until recently, I started to have my doubts and here’s why…

At the start of this year, I carried out a piece of work on behalf of a client that involved interviewing many C-level executives at leading UK professional bodies to gain insight on how they engage with their membership.

Common feedback from C-level execs on their member conferences/summits was, “We struggle to get members to attend face to face events” “The younger generation doesn’t want to come to events anymore” “We are thinking about moving our conference/summit online”

(Some brilliant data insight can be commissioned in this field by if anyone would like to know more.)

Recently I took a couple of days out of the office to attend SIW19 Conference and the FutureX Start-up Summit in Edinburgh for some professional development, inspiration and networking. I was hugely impressed by the quality of content, the energy of other attendees and the fact they were both full (or seemed that way)!

This all went against my experience of attending many a "vanilla" conference over the years and the extensive feedback I’d received earlier in the year.

What did these events capture that other conferences fail to do? Here’s my 2 cents worth,

1)     They know their audience - they really, really know their audience – which allows them to deliver…. 2)     Great content and very relevant speakers that give real insight that you would not be able to gain reading a book, listening to a podcast or through any other medium… 3)     Which energises discussion and inspiration amongst the attendees...

Maybe that is too simple.

But is the conference/summit format of delivering events still relevant?

Yes, 100%,

But don’t go vanilla, nobody goes to the ice cream shop for vanilla, do they?

They might once but not many people will rush back…

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