What pulls people into conferences? Big name speakers, a nice location, and all of the trinkets that you can fit while not going over your luggage weight limit (or in yet another conference bag)? Of course not, it is the information that is important. At the World Business Forum this week, it was the connections to ideas and people that made the event worth attending.
While I have never presented at such a prestigious venue as Radio City Music Hall or in front of thousands of executives, the basic requirement of a speaker is to understand his/her audience and craft the message accordingly. Many of the speakers did a great job at connecting with the audience and hitting the critical issues in the world today. I plan on writing a number of posts on the speakers that connected strongly with me. I have added to my reading list – Bill George‘s book was given to all participants, I plan on picking up Pat Lencioni‘s soon and I’ve subscribed to Gary Hamel’s blog. The reading will help to reinforce the ideas that I connected with so that they don’t fade away 72 hours after the conference.
As for the people that I connected with, I don’t expect to be hanging out with George Lucas in the future, but I do expect that I will keep in contact with many of the bloggers that I met. In addition to the bloggers that I knew from the World Innovation Forum, I communicated with some of the bloggers prior to the conference on LinkedIn as we prepared for the event. Two days of blogging, Tweeting and a couple of meals together starts a nice connection. Through social media, those of us that share common interests can stay connected easily. Below is the group photo of the bloggers on stage – if you click on the photo, it will take you to Flickr where I have tagged people. I have also created a Blogger’s Photo Wall (see the “page” or “tab” at the top of this page).
Here’s the backstage video of us on stage (I apologize for some of the fast moves):
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