3 Biz Lessons from NSA’s Last Conference

A couple days ago I was on a conference call for chapter presidents that was hosted by NSA’s national president, Ron Karr. The very cool thing is that he shared some business lessons I thought I’d pass along to you.

The Backdrop

As you might know, NSA doesn’t allow selling from the stage in any way, shape, or form at it’s conferences (it’s why our own SignalCon on January 31 is going to pure in this way, too!).

Ron was telling us about a recent NSA event, Platform Profits, where the purpose of the conference was learning to sell more (often without selling) from the stage. So for this one, they decided to make an exception. After all, it’d be hard to see how it’s done right otherwise, right?

Ron Karr’s Lessons-Learned

People will pay for value…even if they know there’s going to be a pitch

I won’t tell you the numbers, but let’s just say NSA rawked the back-of-room sales in a headspinning way. AND they charged the usual fee to attend the conference. The results? High marks for value across the board, which means…

Take action: Give people full value for their ticket price, even if they don’t buy anything else.

People want deep dives

Some of the feedback received shed light on what conference-goers are looking for. In particular, the highest praise was for keeping the inspirational bits short and scheduling the bulk of time with serious, roll-up-your sleeves, I-can-really-use-this-stuff sessions.

Take action: Feeling uplifted is great, but be sure to deliver plenty of practical learning that can be immediately used.

People love great speakers, but they also want to hear from their peers and the market

A final bit of insight from the conference was that having a blend of voices was important for understanding the context of what they’ve learned.

Take action: Pursue a balance of delivering content and facilitating connections and conversations.

The Bottom Line

Selfishly, I was pretty excited to hear these findings. It means we’re on the right track for our own conference.

More importantly, even if you’re not planning a conference, you can use these insights to be a trusted advisor to the next meeting planner you’re working with. And that, my friend, is worth it’s weight in gold.

Now you go rock it,

Roger Courville

NSA-Oregon Chapter President and Living Proof that Weird People Can Be Professional Speakers Too