The team at Velvet Chainsaw Consulting is always in search of the latest science or research (outside of our industry) that can be applied to conference experience improvement. About a year ago, we discovered organizational anthropologist and author of Conversational Intelligence, Judith E. Glaser. She has devoted her career to studying humans and how conversations shape their culture, brains, and effectiveness as leaders.
According to Glaser, nine out of ten conversations miss the mark. Her research illustrates our need to intentionally design conferences that promote deeper and more meaningful conversations with peers in the learning environment and in the conference hallways. This research also has very practical application to our personal and professional lives.
We know the primary reasons participants attend conferences is to learn, network, and accelerate deal-making. Conversations are the conference currency that can turn one or more of those attendance levers into a competitive advantage.
Our challenge as conference organizers is to have a basic understanding of the science and impact that transformational conversations can have on the attendee experience. We need to make it part of our conference culture. We should strive to design conference experiences that encourage participants to be curious, transparent, and share their passions, dreams, and aspirations. We need participants to trust the conference organizer and one another.
Reprinted with permission from Velvet Chainsaw’s Sticky Conference newsletter.