I’ve recently come back from the Smart Woman Summit 2018 held in Chicago and here are my thoughts post-event.
The event turned out to be unique for me in many ways. First, since I’ve never visited or lived in the US before, this has obviously become my first ‘American’ event attended. Second, this was the first event attended that was dedicated to women in events, precisely. Third (the one I am so proud of), this event was about celebrating Awards (mine and of all other amazing women there). Oh, and of course being the only Russian-speaking event professional counts, too.
The Smart Meetings post-event article published today outlines the key action points we came up with there, for women in events. Read the full list here.
Now, I’d say the list is remarkable in that sense it is a perfect illustration of what these women I met with, are. They are like living manifestation of all points listed: staying positive, taking risks, helping others, constantly improving as professionals. It does not mean they don’t have struggles (oh yes! especially when it comes to self-care, I’d say). But this is precisely why these women are inspiring: they don’t sit still, they are all about action, each and every one going their own path.
The summit itself was about camraderie, motivation and all things women (loved my swag bag, ladies!). But you know what? I could not help but thinking that it’s even more than that. It is like looking at the mirror, not for a minute and on the go, but taking your time, looking for smallest details in yourself that can help understand and acknowledge your own pitfalls and drives and then – Get inspired. Through others. By your own self. And that’s I believe something a woman in events needs.
This article originally published in MICE&More magazine (Feb 2018).
Emotions no doubt are key aspect of everybody’s life. Whether we are aware of it or not, emotions go off before our brains do, and they heavily influence our decision making in both personal and professional context. We can express emotions – and we can hide them. But even then gestures, face micro expressions, intonations, eye movement and heart rate turn us in. Now, thanks to technologies, we are on the way to sci-fi world of emotion analytics.
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.
Today we hear and read a lot about psychological effects. Indeed, they heavily affect our perception, decision-making and communications. There are dozens of effects and today I’d like to focus on those that can be used by an event organiser precisely. I consider it is an important issue: by being aware of these consistent patters event planners can notice and manage them and thus, get desired outcomes.
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.