The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Creating a Better Conference Culture: Jeremy Gutsche

One of the great things about a keynote from Trendhunter’s Jeremy Gutsche is that he can adapt his message of methodical innovation to any audience. Recently, he spoke in front of an influential group of meeting planners about, well, how to plan better meetings and conferences. It’s a topic that, given his hundreds of talks over the last few years, he was especially eager to address. As the closing keynote at Meeting Planner's World Education Congress, in Vancouver, Gutsche delivered his “7 Secrets to an Irresistible Meeting” to over 4,000 planners.

Jeremy Gutsche spoke about how to create culture at an event. More important than anything else, “when you make a cultural connection with your attendees, they see you as part of their team. That means when you talk with them, you're not speaking to them, you're speaking with them. And that's empowering.” He rolled out example after example while energetically pacing the stage.

Gutsche’s kinetic genius is his ability to clearly convey how each organization—be it meeting planner, clothing designer, or game maker—can become something more to their clients, something their clients obsess over. Here’s Gutsche, with a case study:

You need to become irresistible to a specific group of people. If you like Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia—if that's your favorite flavor—then there's no other ice cream that matters. There's nothing else that can substitute it. So when Ben & Jerry's launched Cherry Garcia, in 1991, they were in the middle of a period of economic recession: world downturn. Despite this, love for Cherry Garcia caused the company to quadruple, in a downturn. And the reason, is that they found a way to be irresistible to a specific group of people. Apply that to your world, and in times of downturn or upturn, [people] will still be deciding to choose you.

Misha Glouberman: How to Make Your Conference Better

When you consider how much time, money and effort go into planning or even just attending conferences, it’s worth thinking seriously about what makes for a great conference and what, unfortunately, causes many conferences to be less-than-great. This is what Misha Glouberman thinks, anyway. “The main reason for people to come together at a conference is to meet people,” Glouberman says, “but conferences usually treat the meeting people as secondary.”

Glouberman is the charismatic co-author of The Chairs Are Where the People Go, which the New Yorker named as one of the Best Books of 2011 (“Hilarious and humane.”) Over many years of facilitation, teaching, and speaking, Glouberman has designed specific tools to enable great conferences and put the flow of dialogue and ideas back into play.

Here’s Misha Glouberman, in an exclusive Lavin interview, talking about how conferences are typically set up:

“Most of the time you're sitting in a room and there's one person at the front of the room talking, and 200 people sitting and listening. Not only does that structure not help, it's actually an obstacle to those people meeting each other. What I do is build in specific structures that let people find the people who share their interests, let people build up agendas of things that interest them, and let people run things themselves.”

Misha Glouberman's logical, good-spirited, and uplifting guidance for meeting planners and organizers is central to the decade-long success of his speaking series Trampoline Hall—which has sold out every show in its home city of Toronto since its inception.