Technology Archives - TAB Corporate

The Perfect Business Conference Playlist

business conference

One of my favorite parts of planning our annual Facilitator Conference is selecting the music. We want the music to be upbeat. Create energy. Selecting the right music can be tricky. Just like good humor, selecting the right music should be subtle. Anyone could select the most obvious tracks. I aspire to find the right combination of tracks that reinforce the theme – while not being too obvious. As you think about your conference and events, here are some thoughts on great picks to accompany your events.

As folks are gathering for the conference open, I recommend playing a combination of high energy music with upbeat themes. Story in Your Eyes by The Moody Blues is a great pick. The lyrics are complex but I’ve always found this to be an inspirational song. It sets the tone that teach attendee should work to take away from the conference what resonates best with them. If your conference or event involves change, how about REM’s It’s the End of the World (as we know it)? Maybe that pick is a little obvious. A great wrap-up tune for the intro series is Tamacun by Rodrigo y Gabriela. This one is all instrumental but has just a positive, upbeat feel to it. It puts people in a great mood.

Another good pick, especially for change-based themes, is Bob Dylan’s Times They Are a Changin’. We have a lot of Bob Dylan fans in the office and so this track has a lot of meaning to us. Another great session wrap-up tune is Santana’s Everybody’s Everything. Another high energy song about change: Get Ready!

If you’re looking to get the attendees engaged for day two, consider this eclectic mix that spans 60 years as attendees file into the room. First, we start with I Hear Music recorded by Billie Holiday in 1940. Next, how about Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon. Even if you have a younger crowd, this is a catchy and positive tune that attendees will be humming to themselves throughout the day. Finally, consider the infectious Just My Imagination from The Cranberries (1999).

One of my personal favorites for conferences is the sweeping and beautiful Praan composed by Gary Schyman. I first became exposed to this music from the Where the Hell is Matt (Harding)  2008 video. This music is so unlike what attendees typically hear at a conference that it would make some attendees think “now this is different”. For the keynote address, go back to 1968 and select Classical Gas from Mason Williams. I think all keynote addresses should be proceeded by Classical Gas! Really sets the tone that something important is happening.

So, that’s my list. I had to run out for an errand right in the middle of writing this blog. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was playing from Crosby, Stills & Nash on the radio. Well, there’s always next year.

What do you think? Other recommendations that would fit in with this mix?

Remember to discuss music licensing with your facility coordinator prior to the event to be sure you are legally covered to play copyrighted music. Many venues have built-in blanket agreements with performance rights societies, but if they don’t you might be responsible to pay an additional fee as explained in this article on music licensing for trade shows and conventions.

business conference

As Vice President of The Alternative Board, Dave is responsible for executive oversight of all Information Technology, Marketing and Member Management activities. In this role, Dave continually seeks ways to marry technology with process to improve TAB brand awareness. Ultimately, Dave hopes to support bringing the TAB value proposition to significantly greater numbers of business owners, consultants and transitioning executives.

Dave has over 20 years of consulting, product development and technology experience across many different industries including telecommunications, hospitality, healthcare and financial services. Most recently, he was Chief Information Officer of ResortQuest International, a vacation property management and real estate company. Prior to that, Dave spent five years in business consulting with BearingPoint, leading a variety of consulting and Information Technology programs for various Fortune 500 companies.

 

Vacation Unplugged

I recently returned from a 10-day family trip to China which had been in the works for a very long time. (Observations from the trip and the growing Chinese economy are in another blog article.)

My family in China

My family in China

As part of this trip, I decided to go unplugged. In fact, I didn’t even take my smartphone. Between the four of us, only one of my daughters had phone service in case of a true emergency. We also had two good cameras and an iPad to take photos.

I usually like to keep up with my email when on vacation. I’ve learned over the years that I’d prefer staying in the know rather than: being stressed about what I don’t know, and coming back to over a thousand emails – which immediately reverts me to pre-trip stress levels! But this was a big trip, we were on opposite time zones and we had a packed schedule.

It took me half the trip to finally stop thinking that I was missing something – my phone.

As hectic as China is with all of the people and dynamism, I am drawn to the timelessness of China’s history. I felt that there was just something wrong about visiting The Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors while poring through my email & stressing over things I could do nothing about. I wanted to immerse myself in what I was seeing and observing – not worry about things back home. Just as importantly, I have a good team working for me. I trusted that they would take care of things as well as possible in my absence.

Unplugging Is Not Easy

Unplugging Is Not Easy

Unplugged

So, disconnected I was. We went with a tour and most of group was unplugged as well. There were a few folks that would FaceTime or speak with family back home. Especially for parents who could not take all of their children, knowing that all was well back home was a stress reliever.

I’m glad I made this decision. One of the features of meditation that appeals to me is that goal of being fully present – impossible with a smartphone in your hand. Rather than being half there, I was fully immersed in the sites we visited and the activities in which we participated. It took me half the trip to finally stop thinking that I was missing something – my phone. I got used to it after a few days & felt very refreshed on this trip. Our schedule was hectic, so I was physically tired with so much activity but felt mentally refreshed.

The first day back home was not fun. Absorbing almost two weeks of email in one day is pretty overwhelming. But I made the right choice & will definitely seek opportunities to unplug in the future.

This Fast Company article includes some good advice and tips on unplugged vacations.

How about your summer trip? Can you stay unplugged?

photo credit: crazytales562 via photopin cc