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Conference of the Bears


There have been enough posts- and some very good ones- about how to get the most out of conferences, what to do in advance of a conference, how to network at a conference, what to do in the host city, etc.

I’d rather tell you a story.

What has your imagination?

Once the bears of the world decided to hold an international conference. After their site selection process, appropriately enough Beartown, West Virginia was chosen. Speakers were chosen for some very exciting, much anticipated sessions.

Here are excerpts from the conference program:

Oh, Bother!– From one of your favorite bears who brought you: “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” and “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””. In this session Winnie the Pooh will explore with participants the importance of relationships and how to strengthen them. Honey will be served. One participant will win a set of Poohsticks. Room: 100 Acre Wood.

Someone’s Been Sitting in My Chair- Discover how to protect all assets, financial and personal, against the competition. Led by The Three Bears who have taken the tough lessons they’ve learned and turned them into books, film, and speaking opportunities around the world. They’ll challenge participants in asking the difficult questions about why you’re letting the competition eat your lunch and revealing other telltale signs that your competition may have gotten comfortable with the way you operate. Porridge will be served.

Not Your Average Bear- Yogi Bear will lead this interactive session on how to get the most out of your employees while helping them to achieve a work-life balance. Yogi will give practical insights and object lessons from nature during this walking meeting. Note: Interested participants should meet at the entrance to Jellystone Park. Pic-a-nic baskets will be provided to all attendees of this session.

The Bear Necessities- Be prepared to sing and dance your way to new learning in the session Vanity Bear calls “captivating… enchanting… it takes you away from everyday life into a different world and gives you a fresh perspective.” Baloo teaches how to successfully navigate and capitalize on cross-cultural differences when life’s challenges are like a jungle. In this memorable and life-changing session, he also covers why you should never trust in someone who shortly after introductions uses the phrase, “Trust in me.” Room: Riverbank 107

While these and many other sessions were successful and met with solid evaluations and sometimes rave reviews, the usual complaints were heard. A group of polar bears huddled in a corner irritated that the conference rooms were too cold. The brown bears demanded more salmon salads and fewer chicken dishes. Some of the panda bears thought their hotel rooms were too far from the convention center. Bears, Cubs, Grizzlies, and Bruins were grumbling because they didn’t want to play silly and childish icebreaker games. The Wall Street Bears were so busy on smartphones and tablets and daily work that they missed numerous opportunities to interact and grow from the amazing talent that had gathered for this event.

So, I ask… What has your imagination? How will you approach your next conference differently? What other sessions did you hear about from the Conference of the Bears?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Love the story Jay! It covers two key issues – what are you going to do differently, AND that we have to remember that you are not going to satisfy every attendee. I don’t plan, but I exhibit and am starting to look at speaking, and I definitely have to re-think our process and what is going to maximize the attention of the delegates! Thanks again!

  2. September 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Nicely done. Who’d have thought bears could be so entertaining =-=

  3. September 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Nothing like a clever story to teach a lesson or two. Enjoyed the post, Jay.
    PS: There’s no pleasing those polar bears — they’re always griping about something. 😉

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