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April 27, 2015

Americas: Time for “Tough Love” In The Meetings Business?

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By Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO

We love our delegates. We lay out a groaning, gorgeous smorgasbord of inspirational speakers with amazing lessons for personal and business success, organic brain-boosting juice breaks, magnificent venues packed with cool AV kit, souped-up Swiss-army-knife-style event apps (sometimes with free iPad to gild the lily and boost those all-important delegate dopamine levels), and then we almost desperately set out to measure how happy our attendees felt about everything we can think of. Did they like (or ideally love) this speaker or that topic? Was registration painless enough? Did our location choice inspire them? Did they, please tell us, enjoy the whole conference experience?

I’m looking into the future direction of our own Congress evaluation process at the moment, and something about our industry’s default thinking on this topic has been striking me as off-kilter and inadequate. I’m beginning to think we’re facing parallels with the modern parent-child relationship, which social commentators suggest is too heavily weighted towards instant gratification, with excessive praise for not-particularly-exceptional achievements, elevated senses of entitlement, and reluctance to face difficult choices and actions.

Read more at MeetingsNet.com...

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