Connexity: Reinventing the Networking Experience Updated

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Session: Connexity: Reinventing the Networking Experience Updated
Presented by: Sarah Michel CSP, VP of Professional Connexity, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Date and time: Tuesday, June 25, 10:00am
pcma.org/educon

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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  • 3 years ago as I witnessed the meetings industry tanking, I had an ephany. I knew meeting mattered but apparently no one else did reading on the front page of the paper that our president and other influential leaders referring to meetings as “boon doggles” and complete waist of money, I knew I had to become part of the solution. Up until then, I had made a good living as a professional speaker focusing on networking and I trademarked “netWORThing” helping audiences focusing on how you can be a resource to others. I knew the real value of face-to-face mtgs was networking. With free education available online 24/7 attendees certainly weren’t boarding planes, trains and automobiles to get more education. They were coming for connections. I saw how the meeting planners and senior decision makers who hired me to be their opening keynoter didn’t really understand how to deliver on that networking promise. So, 2.5 years ago, when I was offered a keynote contract to talk about the value of A good network, I asked the planner if I could meet with the conference team to help them come up with ideas and solutions for helping attendees get connected before, during and after the mtg at no additional fee. I just wanted to see if these ideas in my head would work to create more community and connection for the attendees. Almost 3 years later, I’ve merged with Velvet Chainsaw (Jeff & Dave) and focusing now on helping meeting planners and event teams create connexity experiences for their attendees and vendor/sponsors.
  • Move to the hot topic/burning issue you want to discuss. We asked at registration so we already knew.
  • Restaurants, we pay a premium for the food & the experience of being in a specific environment. the smells the music the lighting the seating makes us feel. What do we want our attendee to walk out thinking, feeling, doing differently as a result of this meeting experience?
  • #1 rule for creating connexity for a live event is to make the attendee your focus. If you put half as much attention on the attendees experience as you do on logistics, you will create connexity. What do you want that attendee thinking, feeling, doing, saying throughout the experience. For Sage planning team we created a fake attendee named Bob. He had a face of some random man we found on the internet and as we planned out every sequence and transition we would ask ourselves, “What about Bob?” Bob, just got his save the date card what do you think he thought? Bob just registered, how do you think he felt about our new process? Bob just arrived and is walking into his hotel room where we have a pop-up recorded welcome card in his room, do you think that made him laugh?
  • Creating Connexity for your next meeting requires a shared vision that all your vendors, staff, board, volunteers need to get behind. (Danielle) With your team come up with 1 or 2 words to be your “shared vision” Your organizing concept/principle. For Sage it is “Infinite Journey” NSA is was “interactive” After you have the 1 or 2 word guiding principle, come up with 4-5 impressions that you want your attendees/guests to say about your event; (Group share) What would you like to overhear an attendee say on the first day of your meeting? What other impressions would you like to make? What do you want your attendees feeling? Doing? Thinking?
  • What are some other ways you can make it easy for your attendees to find “like-minded?” (P & S)
  • Don't let the space dictate what you can do. Let the behavior and the outcomes dictate how the space should be designed.
  • Chris is a partner at IDEO in Silcon Valley, leading design firm in the world and on faculty of Stanford School of Design which has funded studies and research looking at how room designs inform our behaviors and actions
  • It starts with space. How we design the space transmits our organization's internal culture. (P & S) Looking at this room design, what cultural values and beliefs do you think this company was trying to convey to its audience? Space reflects the culture, behaviors and priorities of people within it
  • Use the furniture available onsite. ASK! More and more hotel properties are investing in alternative seating
  • Speaker-Centric one-way communication is the exact opposite of what we should be doing if learning is the goal. We now have evidenced based research that proves that people learn best when they talk about it with someone else, experience it and have post-it notes that they leave on their brain triggered by action (talking, moving, visual). Design for that.
  • Look for ways to keep the conversations going and the global community connected which is how you grow attendance loyalty.
  • Connexity: Reinventing the Networking Experience Updated

    1. 1. ConnexityReinventing the Networking ExperienceSarah Michel, CSP
    2. 2. Real Value of Live EventsReal Value of Live Events
    3. 3. ConnexityConnexity
    4. 4. MeetingsNeedTo be intheConnexityBusiness!
    5. 5. Are you Delivering Networking Value? Healthy repeat attendance (75% or more attend 2 out of past3 years) 35% of your attendees are high influencers, decision makers,practitioners Strong attendee on-boarding process in year one thatdelivers high networking value
    6. 6. People Are Problem-Centric Not Content-CentricPeople Are Problem-Centric Not Content-Centric
    7. 7. The Big Three…1. Attendance loyalty & Growth2.  Growing Expo & Sponsorship3.  Education & Experience Design
    8. 8. Connexity HuddleHow does community andconnection impact yourmeeting challenge?
    9. 9. Create ExperiencesCreate Experiences
    10. 10. Make The Attendee Your FocusMake The Attendee Your Focus
    11. 11. Create A Shared VisionCreate A Shared Vision
    12. 12. Welcome to Sage City!
    13. 13. Make it Easy to Find Like-MindedMake it Easy to Find Like-Minded
    14. 14. Design for NetworkingDesign for NetworkingSmall Tables Chairs in CircleStandingConference Style
    15. 15. ““Space is the bodySpace is the bodylanguage of yourlanguage of yourconference or meeting.”conference or meeting.”~ Chris Flink~ Chris Flink
    16. 16. Space MattersSpace Matters
    17. 17. Create Watering HolesCreate Watering Holes
    18. 18. Connexity HuddleConnexity HuddleWhat ideas/solutions can yougenerate for ways to createmore connexity with yourroom/space design?
    19. 19. Move From the Halls to Inside The Four walls
    20. 20. Move to Participant-CentricMove to Participant-Centric
    21. 21. Connexity HuddleWhat skills are needed to lead sessionswhere the focus is on interaction anddiscussion with peers?Are you current speakers up to the task?How can you support them?
    22. 22. Keep The Conversation GoingKeep The Conversation Going
    23. 23. Connexity Action PlanWrite Down…One StartOne StopOne Continueto Create more Connexity for your attendees!
    24. 24. Connect with me..Connect with me..smichel@velvetchainsaw.comsmichel@velvetchainsaw.comwww.velvetchainsaw.comwww.velvetchainsaw.com@sarahmich@sarahmichelel

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