Successful Meetings - September 2008 - (Page 160)

Best Practices > MiGurus experts’ blogs from Words from the Wise ROI GUARANTEED—OR YOUR MONEY BACK Here is a crazy idea for your next conference: Guarantee your attendees that they will leave the event with ideas worth more than the cost of registration. Imagine a conference with a financial guarantee. Imagine this conference opening: “Welcome. You have given us $1,000 to attend this conference. We want to give you $1,000 worth of results or more. And if we don’t, you get your money back!” That would certainly get your attendees’ attention. Most people come to events, take notes and never look at them again. Let’s think about what we should record By Ed Bernacki at conferences. The secret is putThe Idea Factory ting a dollar value on these results. Toronto, ON, Canada It’s arbitrary, and yet the dollars count. Then give your attendees the following guidelines to come up with a dollar amount: Record ideas and insights: the “aha” moments. The most value comes from ideas that you see as useful. Some are hot while some may seem loony. Ideas are the highest value as they involve many actions: Make them $100 each. Record questions as they are a future conversation or an “idea deferred.” The best questions are like an idea deferred if you think about it back at work. They offer potential value. Add $25 per question. Record quotes, references, and memories. A quote can be something you hear or read, or a reference to a book or website: They’re $20. Record actions: What can you do? Actions are simple: read this, call them, or review something. Make them tangible and practical. Add $20, perhaps $50 if it’s big. Remember the people you want to follow up with. Who are they? What is the context of your conversation? Add $20. By the end of this conference have them add up the value they got. For example, imagine this result: 1. Ideas—I found six ideas: $600 2. Questions—I have eight questions I want to consider later: $200 3. Quotes—I captured two quotes and two books I want to read: $80 4. Actions—I found five immediate actions I can take: $100 5. Contacts—I have four business cards of people I want to follow up with: $80 Then tell them: “If you can’t come up with $1,000 worth of value, our staff will help you squeeze out some extra ideas. If we really can’t find enough value, we will refund the difference between what you paid and what you got back.” Would your conferences make a financial promise like this? If you were accountable for the value people got from an event, how would this impact on the design of the conference? Would the relationship and involvement with speakers change? Would the learning objectives change to reflect this accountability? Would you pay more attention to what people record and how they record it? Would you open and close your conferences differently? It may be a loony idea. But how would your participants feel if they left your event knowing that they captured enough value to justify the cost of attending? Would they come back next year? You bet. 160 SEPTEMBER 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - September 2008

Successful Meetings - September 2008
Editor's Note
Industry Trends
Supplier News
Association News
Corporate Meetings
Independent Planners
Management Matters
Meetings Law
Mouth for Sale
Planner Spotlight
On Site
On Site
Tools of the Trade
Where All That Glitters May Bring Gold
Stepping Up in Class
Going for the Green
10 Great Drive-To Destinations
Charter Members
Night at the Museum
Places & Spaces
Charleston and Savannah
Los Angeles
Rocky Mountain Resorts

Successful Meetings - September 2008