Ideas for avoiding associators.

Hosting a conference is a good thing, but is a bigger conference more successful than a small one?

I’m not so sure. If it is about profit only, then more tickets is better. If it’s about dissemination of knowledge, then not so much.

A conference is a great place to share knowledge. The more people that attend the bigger each seminar has to be, or the more seminars there has to be. That makes either the information more one directional as it’s harder to have a conversation with a room of 500 people, or it makes the presentations have less shared experiences amongst the attendees as there is more to choose from.

What ends up happening at larger conferences is that there are a number of people who just want to associate instead of contribute. People who want to sit back and listen, put the conference as a feather in their cap, but not ask many questions, interact with the room, nor challenge the presenter.

Here are some ideas to avoid associators:

  • Price appropriately so only the most interested will attend.
  • Questionnaires/Applications required for attendees, the longer it is, the more likely you are to be dealing with someone who will contribute.
  • A location that isn’t particularly desirable on it’s own. People won’t go for the vacation.

A room full of contributors is a powerful thing, if that’s what you’re seeking, these may help.

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