Last week, more than 650 attendees came together for the 2015 PCMA Education Conference in Fort Lauderdale. With a wide range of experts, inspiring keynote speakers and meetings industry leaders leading the way, attendees left the experience with plenty of valuable takeaways. Here’s a look at my five favorite quotes from the week.
1) “Success is being able to meet your goal once, but mastery is knowing that it means nothing if you can’t do it again and again.”
Sarah Lewis, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard and author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery
Everyone’s aiming for success, but Lewis told attendees that she believes we need to stop focusing on one-time results. Instead, it’s important to refine your skills until you know you’ll always achieve the same top-notch results. Don’t work to just reach success with your next meeting. Become a master who can design and execute unforgettable experiences every time — no matter when or where it is.
2) “We have the opportunity to personalize everything that we do and everything that we have. So why should our meetings be any different?”
John Folks, President, Minding Your Business
In a session he co-presented with Mary Tran, Experience Manager at Steelcase Education Solutions, Folks reminded attendees that we’re in the age of customization. Attendees don’t want a one-size-fits-all on-site experience. They're looking for a convention that answers the what’s-in-it-for-me question at every turn.
3) “Fear either paralyzes you or it propels you.”
Mel Robbins, CNN analyst and author
Everyone is afraid. We’re afraid of not meeting our registration goals. We’re afraid of receiving negative survey feedback from attendees. We’re afraid of taking new career leaps. Robbins told attendees that they can leverage this fear, though. Rather than letting fears and worries stop you from making bold moves, Robbins recommends using that fear to create a stronger future.
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4) “We want to be careful but not neurotic. Meeting planners can get themselves tied up in knots thinking about everything bad that can happen.”
Paula Cozzi-Goedert, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Flight delays prevented Cozzi-Goedert from joining attendees in-person in Fort Lauderdale, but the meetings team used Skype to broadcast her legal expertise to the audience. Cozzi-Goedert covered the implications that new live video streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat will have on conventions, but she reminded the audience to avoid overthinking the issue. While this quote applies to Periscope, I think it can apply to everything in the process of planning a meeting.
SEE ALSO: 4 Tips For Meeting Planners Who Want To Use Periscope
5) “You should not give a 40-minute presentation. Instead, you should give four 10-minute presentations.”
John Medina, Ph.D., Developmental Molecular Biologist, Affiliate Professor, University of Washington/Seattle Pacific University
The traditional approach to educational sessions involves sitting in a seat and listening to information for a long time. That’s not effective. Medina discussed research that highlights the importance of chunking. By breaking up sections of material with pauses that elicit some type of emotional response from attendees, a long presentation has a much better chance of delivering its full value.
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Were you in Fort Lauderdale? What were some of your favorite quotes from the week? Review your notes and comment below to share the inspiration with your colleagues.