The three experiences that you should add to your next conference are:
1. Hosted-buyer appointments
2. A start-up pavilion and Shark Tank theater on your show floor
3. Roundtable discussions during your day-one lunch
Do these and you’ll increase revenue, engagement, and value. If only it was that easy.
When it comes to conference experience design, borrowing ideas for innovation can be a very risky proposition. A novel session format that succeeds at one conference is likely due to the strategic alignment, learning design, and session leaders, not the format or idea.
Conference innovation requires a deep understanding of how to make it work for your particular demographic and industry, not just copycatting what someone else does. The best ideas will usually come from non-conference experiences or mashing-up ideas to create something unique.
Make a two-year commitment to infusing new elements into your conference experiences. Use the learnings from the first attempt to make year two even better. In year one, stack the deck for success. Recruit influential participants as ambassadors of the new experience. Err on the side of over-investing into the experience and communication to ensure year-one success.
Where do you get inspiration for conference innovation?