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Thank you for a balanced and well articulated post about influence. Influence is so much more than the online apps lead us to believe. I like what you said that "...common sense is not so common. It's the cousin of hindsight." I think we need more wisdom about influence, what it is and isn't and how to use it wisely. Thanks for encouraging that discussion.
Valeria: I struggle with this concept. I will have to think about it for a while. IMO, both commenting and conversations are about communicating. Perhaps commenting is similar to monologues, conversations are similar to dialogues and online synchronous chats are polylogues (having multiple conversations with multiple people at the same time). Education researchers have shown that there is great benefit to learning and discussion with both synchronous and asynchronous communication online. The challenge with many conversations, especially if there are multiple people involved, is that you have to wait your turn to state your thoughts. Turn taking can become more important than the messages or the comments. Words follow words, paragraphs follow paragraphs, people’s thought patterns follow a single, one-way linear medium—the talker’s speech–, which discourages flexible, open-ended, multidirectional and multidimensional thought. Sometimes the medium can become stronger than the content as the listener has to follow an authoritarian, straight-line, fixed point of view. Online conversations allow participants to share at the same time, stop a discussion and go back and read something again and participate. You don't have to wait for your turn. For me, asynchronous comments could be delayed conversations over time, if I choose to engage in the discussion. Regardless, online video chats will definitely encourage more conversations. Ultimately, it's about conversations for change. PS...Perhaps the definition of conversation has changed in a Web 2.0 world? I don't see a conversation as having to take place orally...just sayin'
Keith: Great post and thanks for the shout out. I'm with you and wish more conference organizers were listening to some of what the blogosphere has to say about conferences and events. If more meetings professionals would listen to the social web and read some bloggers, they would find a lot of their attendees talking about their conferences. And that talk is not always flattering. Sometimes, people are asking for honest answers. Here's to a great 2011!
Keith: Great post and thanks for sounding the alarm! What sponsors don't realize is that we attendees know their little game. Paying to play tells the attendee that the sponsor/speaker has a self-serving agenda and that it's about your message, not the attendees' learning. And attendees see through the smoke & mirrors. We know when someone is there to sell to us or someone is there to help us learn more. In today's society, authenticity and trust are imperative. Paying To Play is a luxury association education conferences can't afford!
Keith: I really like this post. Just recently I was on a flight where the steward went through the usual paces of safety. Then he did something that caused the passengers to sit up and take notice. After the first announement about seatbelts, he walked down the aisle and thanked each person who had given him eye contact and was listening. When he started talking about the oxygen masks, he said, "Ah, so more of you are watching me now. May take me a while to thank everyone. Thank you for your attention." His ability to be genuine and connect with us on a personal level got our attention. I agree, that many people in meetings are not paying attention. They are pretending. Of course perhaps the conference organizers have not earned their attention either.
Great list. I'll add a couple more: 11. Having to listen to speaker monologues for six- to eight-hours a day at conferences with little to no time to talk with other attendees. 12 Conference breakfasts, lunches and dinners that are nothing but a parade of sponsors advertisements, videos and presentations and never allowing attendees to talk with each other at the table. 13. Ambush Speakers that demand someone answer posed questions or the speaker is coming into the audience to ambush unwilling victims!
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2010 on 10 Things Attendees Hate at Event Industry Thoughts
Sorry I'm so late commenting on this. Thanks for being such a loyal reader and extending the conversations here on your blog. What do I do for a living? For nearly 20 years I've worked in the nonprofit arena as education and events director. My job has been focused on providing quality education through eLearning, meetings, conferences and workshops. I had to learn about the logistics of the meeting profession in order to get to the content delivery. In January 2010, I took a job with a consulting company that helps associations improve their annual meetings and events. So now, I'm helping others do what I did for years. We are kindred spirits. Like yourself, I also traveled extensively presenting workshops and trainings for years. So, I've learned from experience and education on what worked with my audiences for the ultimate learning experience. Keeping pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo Justin. I like it.
Julie: Thanks for the shout out. I like sharing the wealth too as it gives me an excuse to share my excitement and passion over uncovering new learnings. It's a great bonus that it helps with retentiona and learning for sure.
Sound great...if you live in the DC area. Once again, the rest of the association universe that does not live in DC is not allowed to play unless we pay, pay, pay (for flight, hotel, expenses....) Yall have fun now.
KiKi: Good points for the association world to ponder. I think social networking replaces one of the benefits many associations claim to offer-that of networking with like-minded and industry peers. In the past, many associations claimed that they were the gateway to other professionals or to specific industry's future. We needed assocaitions to find our tribes. We don't need associations for that anymore. When I write my check for $300+ for a membership, I question what I am getting in return. It's not for connections. Unless associations capitalize on social networks and social platforms, individuals will create their own tribes for connections. And associations must create stellar, unique content and experiences within their eCommunities to keep us coming back to them for more. Just sayin...