As a meetings and events company, we decided it was high time to apply our industry knowledge at home, which is why we decided to host the first ever Social Tables Internal Conference! The goal: to generate awareness of meeting planning best practices and to spark creativity and new ideas in the Social Tables team.
The event was based on content from the 2014 PCMA Convening Leaders Conference and presentations ranged from planning an event that the President is attending to avoiding the “Zombie Zone” during a conference.
Each person chose a PCMA Convening Leaders Rewind lecture to watch, then went about creating a Pecha Kucha style presentation compiled of talk highlights to present to their colleagues. For one hour a day throughout an entire work week, we gathered in the Social Tables conference room to learn about our industry. Monday and Tuesday focused on planning and marketing while Wednesday and Thursday highlighted execution techniques. Healthy snacks were provided each day before the conference began to get attendees focused and excited to learn.
During the conference attendees were encouraged to join the conversation online, and #STConf took the Twitter world by storm:
Everyone had a great time learning about the meetings and events industry, and couldn’t wait to start talking about next year. As we debriefed during standup (our weekly all hands meeting) the following Tuesday, we came to the conclusion that, like all good events, planning has to begin early. We decided that instead of having one or two people plan the conference next year, we would do it together in core teams.
To get a headstart, we split into five teams to start brainstorming. Each team consisted of one senior management team member and a representative from every department. This is crucial when planning conferences as you want executive buy-in from an early stage!
The result of this brainstorm was the identification of 5 main objectives for next year’s conference:
- Learn something new
- External involvement
- Spread knowledge
- Create dynamic content
- Put knowledge into practice
We are so excited that our first conference was a success, and are looking forward to round two!
P.S. Keep an eye out for next steps, as we have created a special role for YOU that involves continued education and better understanding of our customers.