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Scott McKain

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It’s Not About BIG Meetings…

In today’s world, you know there is information that has changed from last year to this

Yesterday, Seth Godin told us “No more big events” – while today he wants to inform us of “The best reason for a big event.” Funny, I thought “no more” meant there should be “no more”…like “none.” Which should mean there could be no “best reason” to have one.

May I suggest there are only two reasons to have a meeting – regardless of size?

1) to convey content
2) to enhance emotion

Every successful meeting I’ve had the privilege of keynoting – from over 20,000 in attendance on a few occasions to small group seminars of 100 – all fifty states and fifteen countries — have those two elements at the core.

The problem for most meetings is that we’ve intensely considered neither. We know we have to tell our group something – but, we ignore the emotional aspect and aren’t precise on the message. Therefore, we end up with a mess.

Should you have an annual conference? Should your organization invest in meetings and conferences? Of course.

In today’s world, you know there is information that has changed from last year to this. Yet, at the same time, an organization that feels emotionally connected develops an enhanced ability to function as a team.

Would you have five assistant coaches intensely practice with a basketball team’s starting five separately and individually? Would you then throw them on the floor at game time and say, “OK…now, go play as a team?” Of course not.

For a team to function together, you have to get them together at some point. It’s not only to communicate the knowledge of plays that should be run, or defensive assignments for the game…it’s to get them to FEEL LIKE A TEAM.

And, it’s why social media and wireless connectivity will NEVER totally replace the big (and small) meeting…anymore than television totally replaced radio…or radio dramas totally replaced live stage shows. We can convey content remarkably well via our technology – but we cannot connect as well in that manner.

Why are TweetUps becoming so popular? It’s obvious – we want to meet…IN PERSON…those individuals with whom we’ve been communicating. We want to enhance the emotional connectivity to deepen the relationship with those people we’ve been sharing content with…it’s a need as old as humanity itself.

The problem isn’t big events. It’s BAD events.

It’s spending more on the menu than the message. It’s focusing more on statistics than speakers. It’s because, in the meetings world, there has been a “Collapse of Distinction.

And that’s an awful thing for organizations…and the people who work for them…and the customers who buy from them.

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Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers ( & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.