As someone who gives presentations to companies and associations, I’m a big fan of seeing people learn new things. You don’t get better in today’s business world by staying the same. Conventions and conferences play an important role in introducing new ideas.
Often an audience is educated, inspired, and motivated to act during a presentation. They’ve had a glance at a big picture idea that could transform their organization. But then the session ends and an obstacle appears.
It’s called, time. Too much of it is allowed to go by without anything happening. The idea that was great at 10 a.m. is is not as clear by time you sit down for dinner. You still remember it but then when you get back to the office but you decide to first tackle the mountain of emails and voicemails left in your absence.
Your boss may wonder why he paid for you to attend the meeting as it doesn’t seem like you learned anything. He’s considering cutting out future events like this, which would remove a pipeline of good advice to your organization.
Ideas are like snowflakes. You need to catch them and study them quickly. Otherwise, they’ll disappear.
With that in mind, here are some ways you can Clear the Path to a better return on investment on your company’s conference attendance:
- Make sure that people understand that while attending an event can be fun and a nice reward, it is not a vacation.
- After a session, a participant needs to write down at least two good ideas that he or she learned and how those ideas could be implemented in your organization within the next 30 days.
- Have an expectation that if someone is sent to a meeting, he or she is expected to share what lessons were learned.
- This presentation needs to happen within one week of the end of the event.
- Consider having an accountability buddy at the meeting, even if this is someone from another organization. After the meeting, you’ll check back in with each other to make sure you remembered everything correctly and are taking action.
- Check to see if the presenter has a summary of the talk or additional information available on the topic. With my clients, I create a special meeting resource page online.
Breaking your routine and getting some new ideas can be a fabulous way to reenergize your organization. The key is acting on the knowledge. Otherwise you could allow a million dollar idea to fade from your memory.