We’ve all attended professional conferences over the years. And while the topics and venues may change, the format remains the same:
- An awesome keynote that sets the tone
- A promise of networking, but no real structure to support attendee interaction
- Death by PowerPoint
- Scrambling to take as many notes as possible to share back at the office
- Vendor presentations that are more like infomercials
- “Hotel chicken” for lunch
- Evenings back in the hotel room, catching up on emails
If this is your experience, have I got a refreshing opportunity for you! Presenting . . . (insert drum roll here) . . . The Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation and Development Executive MindXchange! (Applause and the crowd goes wild!)
I’ve been attending (and presenting at) this conference for over 7 years and I look forward to it every time. It is an excellent departure from the norm. It is focused on high interaction with other Innovation and NPD practitioners across multiple industries, sharing real-world lessons learned and best practices, and having a tremendous amount of fun!
Let me paint the picture for you:
- Say goodbye to awkward introductions. How about speed dating with conference attendees to make connections and discover whether there are things you can learn from each other? How about speed dating with vendors to find out if they can help solve your business issues? And winning a prize? (Whaaa?) Frost & Sullivan does networking like no other. They make it fun, engaging, and meaningful.
- You can forget about PowerPoint. Only the main stage sessions are presenters allowed to show slides. Every breakout session is in the format of a roundtable, a think tank, or a panel. These are high activity sessions where you’re focused on solving YOUR organization’s challenges in a group setting, led by an industry expert who has been there and done that. There are flip charts on the wall, markers and handouts on the table, sometimes chocolate (I’m just saying), and a bunch of brilliant key take-aways based on participant questions gathered before the conference. Not a slide deck in sight! BOOM!
- Stop taking notes – get engaged. Don’t worry about trying to divide and conquer sessions with your colleagues across the different tracks to ensure you don’t miss a single nugget that could transform the business. Frost & Sullivan offers a unique (for purchase) offering called the Executive MindXchange Chronicles. Attendees and professional note takers capture all of the nuggets and action items for you, so you don’t miss a thing!
- A “No Pitch” Zone. Even as a sponsoring vendor and speaker, I love this one. (No one likes to be pitched to, right?) Presentations are focused on solving real-world business problems, not on a particular vendor offering. Anyone who pitches during a session is NOT invited back. As vendors, we don’t even really have a booth – it’s just a table top with reference material. And you will never find hawkers in the vendor area trying to lure you into a discussion – Frost is way too classy for such nonsense.
- Put your “Out of Office” notice on and mean it! Frost schedules a ton of fun activities in the evening to build community, including scavenger hunts, sometimes a cruise or luau, and often a casino game night. There is also a morning run/walk for the early risers (not me) who want to keep their fitness plan in check while on the road. While the primary objective is fun and exploring the local city, the networking is unbeatable.
While I can’t make any promises about “hotel chicken,” I can promise you a productive use of your time, learning the latest innovation and NPD trends, and networking with some amazing professionals.
Check out my blog from last year discussing The 5 Tips to Get the Most out of the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation and Development Executive MindXchange. Hope to see you there!