The event industry is growing more than ever, though sometimes I wonder if in the right direction. The Digital Age has not killed in-person events as many predicted but reinforced our need to meet beyond the screen. Now, I love creating and attending to conferences but the industry has become quite mediocre (with notable exceptions of course), filled with what at times seems an unstoppable inertia for how we used to run events 5, 10 or even 50 years ago.
A change in the conference experience is needed. That seemingly risky path is IMHO the only way to confront the typical comments I hear from many of my conference organizer friends like “people don’t want to pay for tickets” , “we put so much effort into this event and they don’t seem to appreciate it” or “it makes me mad when they complain about the quality of the coffee but do not comment on the experience we created”.
The Way to Disruption
Enter Luke Williams (web, twitter), author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business (disclaimer: the link includes an affiliate code), Professor of Innovation at NYU Stern School of Business and fellow at frog. Luke has dedicated much of his professional career to enabling the dynamics that lead to a disruptive innovation in any industry and considers the event sector one “ripe for disruption.” We’ve met several times over the last two years (he was “my” speaker at Frontiers of Interaction ’10 and Red Innova ’11) and most recently in Malmo, Sweden, at Mediaevolution’s The Conference.
In this video Williams explains the steps a conference organizer can take to create a new disruptive experience for the participants and the event business itself.
Dear conference organizers, friends and unknown (strangers are friends you haven’t met yet, drop me a line!), please watch it and let’s shake the event industry for better!
The Steps to Disruption
- Identify the cliches of the conference experience
- Form disruptive hypothesis
- Identify the unmet needs & draft Specific ideas to implement the identified opportunity
- Prototype the experience
- Pitch the idea to the key stakeholders