Meeting Makeover 101: Tackling the Present of Conferences


Image credit: Hadija Saidi, Unsplash

Last week, we took a (well-deserved) swipe at the literature looking to the “future of conferences”.


Now, if you’ve been following UC for any length of time, you know we’d never take a swipe without offering a solution 😬


Over years of helping clients figure out what’s not working with their approach to conferences and gatherings, we’ve identified a few common themes.


⏩ Enter Meeting Makeover 101.


Answer these questions (truthfully) and you’ll be well on your way to hosting and supporting conferences that create vivid memories and result in lasting connections.


* Note, we’ve split them into ‘hosting own events’ and ‘joining third party events’; the same questions apply to in-person or virtual. Form follows function, always.


Hosting own events:

  • Why do you want to host this conference? – be honest

  • Why would your dream participants and partners want to join this gathering? – be realistic

  • When did you last seek input from your team and stakeholders on your event strategy?

  • What is your expected ROI from hosting this? – be specific

  • How do you measure the success (or failure) of your event?

  • What is your plan for diversity, inclusion and representation?

  • Have you considered your environmental impact?

  • What is your quantity vs. investment balance? I.e. To achieve your objectives, should you host fewer events that may cost more, or several events that don’t cost as much?

  • What is your plan for continuity and ongoing engagement, or does your community have to contend with the occasional “one-and-done” approach?

  • What is the status of your current event toolbox? Is it up to date or have the moths arrived?

  • What would (really) happen if you stopped hosting your event?

  • What would you do instead?

Joining third party events:

  • Why do you want to join this conference?

  • What will be the impact on your business? – really

  • What do you bring to the table when you partner with an event?

  • When was the last time you sought input from your team about the events you support?

  • What is your quantity vs. investment balance? I.e. To achieve your objectives, should you partner with fewer events that cost more or several events that don’t cost as much?

  • Do you have a reactive or proactive approach to partnering with third party events?

  • What is your expected ROI from joining? – be specific

  • How will you measure success (or failure)?

  • What if the event fails to meet any mutually-agreed objectives – is there any recourse?

  • Do their diversity, inclusion and representation values align with yours?

  • What about their environmental impact?

  • What would (really) happen if you simply stopped partnering with third party events?

  • What would you do instead?

We’re offering a couple of complimentary meeting makeovers before the end of 2021 so if you don’t feel like answering these questions on your own, or have answered them and are wondering what to do next, reach out on hello@uncommonconferences.com. We can tackle these as individual events, or look at your whole event strategy.


Who doesn't love a good makeover?! 🛠


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