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The TED conference successfully mixes all three types, but they are a bit of an outlier in that respect.

I think Ben's point is about knowing who you are. It is possible to mix types successfully (i.e., TED), but those are are struggling are not mixing types successfully. If you have a firm grasp of who you are, you can be successful in a mixed-type conference.

That doesn't imply that each type works for every conference, but being successful with mixed types requires acute awareness of who you are.

Good assessment Ben.

I think there's also a "Networking/Collaboration" Model or "Best Practices" Approach (not by a single or org/business, but by many).

There is another obvious (I think) struggle that arises from the "Issues" model: picking the wrong issue. Don't you think?

But most interestingly, I think there are times when planners select a great "Issue" yet approach in a way that doesn't interest people. They don't capture the imagination of the target, even though they know which of the '3' they are, and may even have a great topic. That's part of the incredible draw of your events. You engage the imagination.

Particularly among 'Christian' events, I believe lack of imagination has killed many an otherwise well-intended event. Agree or no?

Ryan, i think from an organizer's standpoint, TED is an Influence model... but i'm sure the speakers have their own agendas

Charles, i agree, but it's hard to monetize those, so they tend not to last unless someone's willing to take it on the chin for the sake of marketing and relationships. Many of the conferences I consult with have been losing money

Rick i like to think so, =) but i've been baffled for years by what people "vote for" with their conference budgets. Tends to be the "fill-in-the-blank," "copy-the-model" type events. At STORY, we only want 1,000 true fans.

Ben, where would you place "Story"? Seems like an "influence" model, but also something different again.

I think tons of folks are looking for tactics and dialogue now days, with a shorter "distance" between the world of the speaker and the world of the seat sitter. We're attempting this approach in September with a local conference for pastors who need an injection of tactics and tools in various ministry challenges. I'm excited to see if it really appeals or not

Interesting blog, Ben. You gave me a lot of thing about :) I like your statement on "1000" true fans. I think the reason we, so often, copy things is due to the fear of rejection or failure. It really comes down to "WHO" you are, as a person or organization. Thanks Bro. Hope to catch up soon!

It appears that the church has been ODing on Conferences lately. Makes me crazy how many there are. I think it's because they are money makers for the facilities hosting them? maybe? Remember "retreats"? In the 90's every church hosted a Retreat of some sort it seemed..

If I go to a Conference, I want to learn something. I want to come away more educated and inspired.

I loved Story when I got to go. I learned a lot and I was VERY inspired.

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