Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 2013

4 Killer Questions All Meeting Planners Should Ask

By Barbara Palmer, Senior Editor


 
“We're often held back from taking action because the next step is complex or unclear,” futurethink CEO Lisa Bodell writes in her book, Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution: "One way to find answers about how to move forward is “to ask the right questions. We call these Killer Queries, questions intended to stretch people's thinking as they plan or brainstorm.

“These are not the questions typically asked around each strategic-planning period - ‘What were your sales? What does our inventory look like?’ It's not that these questions should not be asked, but too often they're the only questions being asked and they're far too insular and uninspiring....”

“In our quest to always have the right answers, many of us have forgotten how to ask really smart questions — the kind that inspire you to truly think, address the elephant in the room, or even make people a little uncomfortable. Killer Queries should be open-ended, provocative, even outrageous, and they can target any aspect of your business.”

Convene asked Bodell for examples of Killer Queries that meeting professionals should be asking as they design their events. They include:

  • If we couldn't do anything that we normally do when it comes to creating an event, what would we do?
  • What are all the assumptions you have around what must happen in a meeting? What if the opposite were true — what kind of meeting might result?
  • If you had unlimited funds to create the award-winning meeting of all time, what would you spend the money on?
  • You can only focus on one thing for your next meeting to make it a success — what is it? Why?

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