Three PCMA sessions stuck out last month for both content and style. As one in a random series of Dana’s Conference Notes, let’s explore them.
Brain Candy presented by Jeff Hurt, Velvet Chainsaw
We talk a lot about the trade show being fascinating but in no way is that the only space where attendees need help refocusing their brains and inspiring themselves to learning. Spatial concepts and intriguing room sets were presented in this session that walked its own walk, as attendees experienced Station Rotation while learning about the impact of one’s physical environment on one’s thinking.
Think of station rotation like those centers we moved through in preschool and kindergarten — block center, dough center, book center, etc. Each had a different feel and inspired different behavior. The actual act of moving through each station was a boon for kinesthetic learners. My biggest takeaway was the assignment of a learning partner from the start — someone who traveled the journey with me throughout the session, experiencing the same stations at the same time. It’s always good to have a buddy, and it was one more face to recognize at that evening’s reception.
PCMA MBA Leadership Training presented by Richard Hadden, Contented Cows
It’s not often the letters MBA are seen on a conference schedule, but this course in particular lived up to the fancy moniker, provide solid takeaways for new and experienced leaders. Despite the speakers insistence on calling A players farm animals with his Contented Cows reference, the point was clear: Leaders can and must inspire employees to give more.
The equation presented is one to memorize:
Personal Capability minus Minimum Job Requirements equals Discretionary Effort.
Note it’s discretionary. Employers can’t pay for it, so leaders have to inspire it. The Discretionary Effort is what employees give to their work when they are personally engaged, when they wake up and want to play. Enough studies have shown that an engaged, capably led workforce is one of the best things for a company’s bottom line, so inspiring that Discretionary Effort has major ramifications on the success of a team, project, company or show.
Scenarios for the Future presented by Francis Friedman, Time & Place Strategies
Research recently released on Convention Exhibits and Tradeshows of 2016 show five different scenarios to aid events and exhibits industry executives in forecasting, backcasting and overall strategic planning. By creating five different scenarios, the research team enables us to envision what we want our individual future to look like.
As presented in a quick Learning Lounge session by Francis Friedman, the paper identifies five main personality or organizer types: Those who think “We’re OK” no matter what comes along, those circling the wagons thinking “We control the data,” those dragging their feet a bit with a “We’re getting ready to change” attitude, those who have already flipped into new nontraditional models like “hosted buyer events” and those who can completely reset and turn the reins over to their community and have a” true juried event.”
Where do you fall? The paper offers some great ideas on steps to take and ways to incorporate the findings into your planning. The online #expochat community also discussed this research shortly after PCMA and offers its open discussion in archive format here.
Are you ready for all this change? You’re not alone! Comment and let’s talk about it.