Adrian Segar, Founder of Conferences That Work, on his Career Path

Adrian Segar

Adrian Segar speaks at the 2015 PCMA Education Conference in in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


  • Oxford University, B.A., Physics
  • University College, London, Ph.D., Experimental High-Energy Physics

My First Industry Job: Designing and facilitating peer conferences (aka unconferences) for numerous small associations as an amateur in my spare time for about ten years before I began getting paid.

My Previous Three Jobs

  • Tufts faculty post-doc, working on various experiments in high-energy physics at Fermilab and the Stanford Linear Accelerator.
  • Owning and managing a (thermal) solar energy manufacturing business from 1978 – 1983.
  • Independent IT consulting for 23 years.
Conferences that Work Cover

Adrian Segar’s book, “Conference that Work”

What I Do Now: I currently design, facilitate, and consult about participant-driven and participation-rich meetings, write books about meeting design — my third, on crowdsourcing events, should be published in 2019 — and cover all matter of meeting-related issues (and other things that tickle me) weekly at

My Favorite Thing About My Job: I love to facilitate meaningful connections between people — and that’s exactly what I get to do in my work!

Most Influenced in My Career by: Two people that readers are unlikely to know: my recently deceased mentor Gerald (Jerry) Weinberg who taught me so much about being a better consultant, and Jeannie Courtney, my mentor and now friend, who helped me discover who I am and how to learn to be that person.

What I Learned From My Biggest Professional Mistake: The importance of written contracts that clearly define responsibilities — minimizing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disagreements — and include appropriate outcomes if things don’t go according to plan.

My Next Big Career Goal: Finishing book Number 3!

My Advice for Young Meeting Professionals: In my experience, meeting industry professionals are some of the most friendly and supportive folks around. If you’re good with people, patient, willing to be flexible, and work hard, you deserve a great work environment; don’t settle for less!

Become a Member

Get premium access to provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence.