Meeting Innovation: Too Much Plenary at Your Conference?

too much plenaryYears ago, when I first started working in this profession, everybody kept talking about plenary sessions. I didn't have a clue what it meant, but I kept quiet for so long, it became my version of the "Pensky file" on Seinfeld.

One day, I finally looked it up...

Plenary (adj): Full; complete; entire... attended by all qualified members; fully constituted.

Okay, now I get it... silly me.

Take a scan at your agenda, your conference marketing materials and other messaging. Are you choosing words that resonate with your target audience?

"Plenary" sounds high level and all encompassing right out of the gate, but will it play well for Next Gen?

Business communication styles have and will continue to evolve. Twenty years ago, you'd be scolded for using contractions in any business communication. Now, the use of contractions strikes a more conversational tone. Many believe it's a warmer way to connect with colleagues and clients. 

I'm the first to advise that you don't go too far in relaxing your professional lexicon (who uses that word?). When in doubt, always err on the side of professionalism. 

You might ask yourself: Do I ever use this word in my day-to-day communications?

  • You're invited to my plenary party.
  • I provided plenary receipts to my accountant.
  • Stopped by the dentist's office today for my plenary check-up.

Today, people are in search of authentic and "real world" experiences. If you're looking to attract this crowd to your conferences, plenary might not be helping you. On the other hand, if you're looking to attract members of Parliament, then by all means, pump up the plenary.

For more industry trends, read 5 Reasons Why I Bail From Your Conference Live Stream and 10 Signs Junior Might Have a Future in Event Planning.

(photo by curtzsi via Flickr)

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