Forbes Russia has recently published my new article (the original in Russian) and I’d like to make it available in English, too. It addresses an issue of efficient participation and how an attendee is responsible for making it work almost as much as organisers are. I believe following some simple yet important rules will help everybody attending a conference or a congress gain maximum benefit out of it. Thus, by moving towards each other, and not in the opposite directions, organisers and attendees may feel and actually get the full value an event can provide.
Below is my translation of the article.
Sometimes I seriously think event planning and parenting are very similar (just think about levels of responsibility and amount of (positive and negative) stress), and attendees are like kids. Why? Well, I came up with at least 7 reasons for that:
Analysing event’s website is one of the key elements in my event review. I believe event website is a hallmark which can (or cannot) tell a whole lot about the event. Often there are similar questions raised around what should be there on a conference’s or forum’s website. So recently I’ve come across WEC2018 and found it a perfect reference to share with you. Not is it only an example of how to present and structure event information. It surprisingly came as a visual aid for event design trends. See for yourself.
Event management is a business based on people-to-people interaction – an intense, regular and multifaceted interaction. That’s why events are literally saturated with psychology. Understanding of some psychological principles and methods behind each step of event planning process, each communication, and each stakeholder gives an opportunity to make required adjustments on the go. Eventually it leads to more efficient outcomes for all interested parties.
Does it make sense to include a psychologist into the team of organisers? At first glance the idea sounds crazy. But let’s first see ‘how much’ psychology is there in any event, and ask this question again afterwards. (more…)
I found ‘How to run a better conference using math’ a great read and highly recommend it to all eventprofs dealing with conferences of all sizes. It is a detailed case study of Web Summit where organisers embedded maths to the very core of event management. Furthermore, I can second every word about how every small detail of an event in fact shows the true approach of its organisers to the event in whole. It is a long read, but I am sure you’ll find a lot of useful staff there.
I would make two conclusions which seem most important to me:
1) using mathematical techniques and various metrics as their output should not be fashion statement. It works, and it is crucial to not just learn about it in theory, but try and apply it in practice. It does not matter if that would be just on a beginner level. By the way, the author reasonably mentions that if for some reason you are not ready to use the set of mathematical methods described, there are many other solutions, less complex but optimised and effective.
My main point here is that using maths in conference management should be a deliberate way forward for every event planner, no matter at which level.
2) that one:
‘In my view, if a conference organiser is not regularly reading academic papers on topics related to network science in particular, as well as crowd psychology and dynamics, way-finding, anthropometry and related areas; running controlled experiments at their conferences and conducting rigorous surveys of attendees of all types, I believe it’s challenging to improve each iteration of your conference’.
This in my view is a very important idea. We used to see calls for practical skills of eventprofs these days. And although I don’t mean to downplay the importance of practice, I fully agree with the idea. The above highlights that the conference organiser should not be a sole practitioner. They should also be an academician and learn from as many fields of knowledge as possible.
Truly – what a complex and amazing profession it is.
Our new Small [Matey] Talk is a kind of interview section on the blog. As title suggests, it’s just a ‘small talk; about events. Thus, it does not aim to be an eye-opener (although we hope it might well be!) or make any great discoveries, but rather it aims to get personal experiences and opinions on various aspects of event planning and design, from a variety of stakeholders (attendees, speakers, planners etc), in the spotlight. I hope you find this section interesting.
My first talk is with Alexey Fadeev, PhD in Economics, Senior Researcher at Institute of economic affairs (Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Science)
Speaking same language is important indeed. Metaphorically, when you come to another country and are able to speak and understand at least some phrases or words in a foreign language, it becomes easier to handle some practicalities or just communicate your needs. Speaking generally, it opens up more opportunities. Well, it might not be same as if you speak that language fluently, but it definitely gives you some advantage, doesn’t it? Same applies when it comes to understanding the processes and practices behind organising an event.
Why is it important for a client to learn more deeply about how the work of an event manager/event agency is structured? Why is it important for event/meetingprofs to make more efforts and educate their clients on what and how they do their magic? Well, there is a number of compelling reasons for that.
I’ve recently come across the interesting article on eventplanner.tv, about education for event professionals. It says, according to Tomas Pernecky, ‘it is only recently, with the international growth of planned events and new industry standards, that we can witness the increase of university programmes offering courses in event planning’. And ‘being a good planner is more about accumulating work experience than high grades. And the classroom is not necessarily the most appropriate environment to develop a problem-solving mindset and strong communication skills.’ Also, there are 5 ideas on what can be helpful instead of a degree in event management.
Well, while I do agree with the above, I thought I’d put down my arguments why it is still a good idea to try (and perhaps strive for) getting a degree. First of all, yes absolutely, it is possible to become an excellent eventprof without degree in this field. Surely it is. And I am sure there are great examples for that. But nonetheless I consider degree in events/meetings management to be huge advantage. I am not talking about such cases there is no time or money to study. I am thinking of those who might considering if studying is worth it.