< Back

Practical and Inspirational Takeaways from Expo! Expo! and Convening Leader

By: Shannon Lockwood | Jan, 27 2023
Meeting/Event Design & Management

Following the busiest fall many of us have had in years and a whirlwind holiday season, I had the great pleasure to attend both IAEE’s Expo! Expo! and PCMA’s Convening Leaders. It was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and industry peers, reignite my extrovert tendencies, and inspire the year ahead. Before running off to my first client event of the year, I want to stop and reflect on the incredible takeaways and aha moments from the business events professionals and thought leaders who spoke at this year’s conferences.  

On Sustainability

Both conferences featured excellent content on where to begin (or continue) your personal or organizational sustainability journey. I received multiple recommendations for the Event Industry Council’s Foundation Certificate in Sustainability, which offers both an individual and organizational/event certification pathway. If you’re like me and looking to commit yourself to learning about and executing more sustainable events, visit their website to enroll in the Sustainability and Social Impact Foundations Certificate. If your organization has already developed a sustainability policy, consider joining organizations from across the global events industry – venues, organizers, exhibitors and suppliers – to drive the events sector towards net zero, by becoming a signatory to the Net Zero Carbon Events pledge

On Leadership

After reading Kim Scott’s “Radical Candor” in 2019, I’ve tried to focus on ensuring that members of my teams feel the psychological safety to speak freely and provide new ideas, feedback, and suggestions for how I can improve my communication and organization of our collective goals, projects, and teams. At Convening Leaders, organizational psychologist Adam Grant furthered this thread. He suggests that, to grow as leaders, we should actively seek out the “Disagreeable Givers” in our lives and build a “Challenge Network”. These Disagreeable Givers embody Grant’s idea that “honesty is the highest form of loyalty” and ensure that we hear unpleasant truths from individuals who truly care about our success.

On Navigating the Unknown

New York Times bestselling author, Daniel Pink, illustrated that while many of have hoped for a return to normal, the headlines from the start of the year indicate that none of us really know what will happen in 2023. He argued that in the face of this uncertainty, experimenting is more practical thank knowing, and offered 5 steps each of us can take to begin find our footing in these uncertain circumstances.

Since returning from Columbus, I’ve personally implemented Pink’s suggested progress ritual. I dug through my office, found a pretty notebook that I had been saving for a special occasion, and started writing down three deliverables that I’ve made progress on each day. This moment of reflection each day has provided me with a moment of gratitude and acknowledgement for the progress I am making, no matter how small it may feel. 

With all of these incredible ideas and opportunities for growth bouncing around in my head, it’s tempting to be overwhelmed or consumed by trying to implement them all. Daniel Pink’s guidance to “do one thing” leans on the premise that progress begets progress. By finding success and mental clarity with my progress ritual, I’ve built the momentum to take on my next goal. With this momentum and the connections and conversations I had during each of these events, I’m feeling inspired, connected, and ready to take on 2023. 

What were your favorite take aways from Expo! Expo! and Convening Leaders? Which new idea are you hopeful to implement in 2023? 


Photo Credit: Pexels.com

rss icon