Steal This Idea: Why Every Conference Should Have a Learning Lounge
Galvanizing audiences through shared experiences and community
Attendees of PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2014 Conference in Boston, MA have been learning, engaging, and networking like never before. That’s because in addition to the traditional main stage education sessions, PCMA teamed up with Freeman to create the Learning Lounge 2.0.
The Learning Lounge 2.0 is a new area within the conference dedicated to creating opportunities for the PCMA community to collaborate and engage. It showcases kinetic, visual, and auditory experiences, while providing a dynamic forum to engage, network, and collaborate with peers and thought leaders through smaller short format sessions; round table discussions, Q&A forums with main stage presenters, meet ups, book signings, and more. The idea is to create a community in which participants can discover, share, and learn about the innovations and challenges transforming the meetings and industry.
Through the Learning Lounge, PCMA has provided their community with a place and a space to meet, share, and interact. As event marketers, one of the primary goals for our programs should be to develop and activate a robust community just like the one created in the Learning Lounge. Why is this so important?
Because as conferences grow in size and complexity, and as the attendees’ lives become increasingly frenetic and digitized, providing them with an area to have a shared experience, to participate, to interact one-on-one with thought leaders, and to hear and be heard will foster deep connections, brand affinity, and true learning. Show organizers can empower their community by creating outlets for self-expression and sharing and in return receive deeply committed brand advocates.
By building communities, brands and organizations ultimately provide a more authentic, relevant, and sticky experience. And more than any other channel, meetings and events have the opportunity to galvanize communities by connecting like-minded people; inspiring them to personally engage and commit; and, in the process, deliver value back to other attendees, brand partners, and the brand or event organizer.
Download a new Insights Paper to learn more about the power of communities.
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