Many years ago, I volunteered to help a local conference team reenergize their conference program. They had been putting on the conference for a number of years and were looking for some new, fresh, and outside opinions on how to change the format and reenergize it.
You see attendance was declining, not too much, but a troubling trend. And attendee feedback, while positive, pointed to getting a bit bored with the current repeating recipe.
We went out to dinner to brainstorm. It was attended by the long-time program chair and an invited set of 4-5 outsiders who were asked for their ideas.
We’ve tried that before…
As the dinner commenced, the introductory conversations turned into a brainstorming session All seemed to be going swimmingly and I was excited about the possibilities.