meeting planners | May 16, 2012

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.

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the arts | May 15, 2012