What Makes a Successful Conference?

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The results of carefully curated and unforced communication and learning strategies can be quite epic for both individuals and organisations. Speaking to Learning and Development leader, Sukhvinder Pabial, we get a bit of insight into what his profession entails and how it can be linked to the coworking world, particularly with conferences. Sukh also gives us a peak into his experience of opening a new coworking space.

What does a learning and development specialist do?

Ideally, these are people who serve as behind the scenes heroes. To put it more modestly, people like Sukh are responsible for developing learning strategies for companies and helping to come up with learning solutions for things like how to put together a learning program, leadership program, training programs, or digital products. 

Opening a coworking space

Sukh was bitten by the coworking bug quite a number of years ago. As someone who had a full-time job at the same time, it was impossible to really dedicate more to it than just good thoughts. And then, last summer the passion turned into a reality. It came as a surprise as Epping had never had anything like this available before. This presented him with motivation and a clear target, and he took a shot that paid off.

When was your first unconference and what are your views about it nowadays?

It was around the year 2010 and it was organised by a HR community. They’re not just HR but proper Learning and Development organisation, development coaches, and recruitment specialists. It was everything that you would expect to come from a typical conference. What stood out about it was that it was just about people connecting, talking, and having real discussion with each other. 

The most important element of conferences

There are numerous elements that make for a successful event, no matter what the nature of the event is. It can be argued that the most important element of an event is the speakers and what they have to say, but how accurate is that?

A strategic event organiser understands that the ‘main event’ of any event is the experience you provide for your attendees. Gestures as small as a warm welcome at the door, all the way to delivering relevant and engaging content to your audience are some of the elements that make for a successful event.

The focus should definitely shift from: “do I have important speakers at my event?” and lean more towards: “how do I give my audience an experience of a lifetime?”

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