I'm in Las Vegas attending the 2011 PCMA Annual Meeting: Convening Leaders. I arrived in the morning, giving me time to walk around the the host hotel, MGM Grand, and get myself mentally prepared for the conference.
According to One+ columnist Jon Bradshaw, preparing yourself for a conference is just as important as the conference itself. Bradshaw, in fact, says that the most important part of any meeting is the attendee.
In the Convening Leaders Orientation session on Sunday, Bradshaw showed attendees that lessons learned from behavioral and sports sciences can be applied to meetings and make time spent during a conference a positive and rewarding experience.
"Why are you here?" Bradshaw asked. "Is it for gambling? Hugs and kisses? Business? Define your goals before you start so that you have control over your time while attending the conference."
Bradshaw's presentation was sharp, energetic, humorous and interactive. He had attendees participating several times in activities, everything from meeting three new people and expressing goals to tasting Marmite to a set of squats to massages with attendees lined up shoulders to hands.
The session was presented by Bradshaw's company, Meetings Mindset, whose goal is to give attendees tips and tools to maximize their investments during conferences.
The most enlightening question Bradshaw asked attendees was "Are You Here?" He wasn't asking if they were physically present; he wanted them to ask themselves if they were mentally present. It tied perfectly in line with his three basic meeting skills: listen, ask questions and give people 100 percent of your attention.
Not only are those great meeting skills, they're great life skills, too. Bradshaw showed attendees more than what it takes to attend an event. He showed them what it takes to be great people.