Friday, 19 October 2018 09:31   |   Read 4477 times

Conferences and events are first and foremost logistical challenges, where sponsors, conference committees, event managers, venue providers, AV teams, caterers, bureaus and speakers, just to name a few, come together in one big collaboration! They all have varying motivations, often speak different industry ‘languages' and have a diverse set of expectations.

So how can you apply collaboration techniques to reduce the risk of things going wrong and, at the same time, upsize the outcomes you achieve?

Event managers will only too-well know the problems that arise when, for example, academic speakers bring 50 slides for a 15 minute presentation; or when venue / service providers have a mindset of just doing ‘their thing’ and couldn’t care less about any changing variables on the day.

Successful collaborations focus on win-wins, making sure everyone is getting a tangible return on the resources they are providing. Supplementing your preparation will increase your worth in the eyes of your clients, and here’s five quick tips to boost that process:

Unpacking motivations

Do you know what’s driving everyone’s interest and involvement? It’s always valuable getting the answer to that question from their perspective (not yours). Sometimes we make assumptions, whereas the real story is quite different.

Connecting on a meaningful level

By drilling down further into people’s motivations, it’s worth finding out what success (or underperformance) means for them personally. Connecting at an intrinsic and more emotional level helps you when you have to persuade or influence their approach.

Scoping out success

What does success look like for your collaborators or partners? You might find there are diverse views. For example, as a speaker, the main question I ask event organisers and sponsors is, “What transformation in the audience are you seeking as a result of my presentation?”. It allows me to construct a clear and measurable way of proving success.

Finding the Elephants in the room

People may be overlooking obvious problems, possibly because they don’t feel empowered to control them. It’s amazing how many times you frustratingly hear “I knew that would happen” after something’s gone wrong. To prepare and manage those risks, be sure to ask your collaborators what they think the main risks are. 

Assessing whether the win-wins are achievable

Having ascertained what success looks like from multiple perspectives doesn’t mean it will magically happen. You might discover discrepancies in people’s views and come the conclusion that you’re between a rock and a hard place. Thats okay. The point is you’ve identified the problem, and can therefore make a conscious decision about rectification or management plans.

These preparation steps don’t just work for events, they work for collaborative corporate projects, improving team work, forming joint ventures, facilitating multi-sector collaborations and many more situations. Happy collaborating!

Phil Preston

Interested in for your next event?

Phil is an authority on unlocking value through effective collaborations - the new frontier for innovation, strategy and high performance outcomes. He has the rare skill of conveying complex ideas in an entertaining way, and is known for his easy going and highly engaging performance style.

Keeping up with trends and relentless change is hard when you’re being asked to deliver more-with-less in shorter timeframes. Accessing new ideas, skills and resources is the key to staying relevant and getting ahead.

Phil specialises in effective collaboration techniques that uncover amazing business and world-changing opportunities.

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