The Triple T Emcee

The goal of this blog is to feature what’s POP!d out recently in the hopes you can use these insights to get your ideas, business, products and services noticed, remembered and monetized.

Well, humbly submitted, what POP!d out recently is something I did at a conference that has reaped huge rewards.

I love Emceeing. I’ve had the privilege of Emceeing the Maui Writers Conference (regarded by many in the publishing industry as the finest in the world – for 16 years. Every year, my priority is to create a community in the first few minutes so attendees feel welcomed, connected and confident this is a good investment of their valuable time and money.

I took this to a new level at the Invent Your Future Conference in CA.

Several participants approached me to say they thought the conference was one of the best they’d ever attended, and they were sad more of their co-workers couldn’t attend due to budget cuts. After hearing this several times, I wondered what I could do about it.

If you read the newspapers, you know that many conferences are being cancelled or downsized because of the tough economy. Corporations that used to send large contingents of employees to professional meetings are having to cut back.

After mulling it over, I thought of a way to “scale” the conference and extend its influence to people who weren’t able to attend.

I only had a few minutes so I needed to make this quick. I walked out to the center of the stage (no lectern for me) and addressed the group.

“I’m going to ask you to do something NO conference has ever done.

In fact, every conference has asked you NOT to do this.

Please take out your cell phones, iPhones, Blackberries and digital cameras . . . (dramatic pause and imaginary drum roll) . . . and turn them ON.

Now, I’m going to ask you to do The Triple T.

What’s the Triple T, you ask? It stands for Text, Twitter and Take a Photo

TEXT: Please text a friend or co-worker and tell them about an idea from this morning’s session you found particularly interesting. Tell them about an insight you’d like to share at next week’s staff meeting or about a recommendation you’d like to discuss next time you get together.

TWITTER: Twitter your followers and let them know you’re at this conference enjoying the wit and wisdom of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, NPR’s Cokie Roberts and Bertice Berry.

TAKE a PHOTO. Get together with someone you’ve connected with and ask a table-mate to take your picture. Swap business cards and schedule a follow-up call to share progress reports. If your organization (like Northrup Gruman, Genentech, or NBC) sponsored a group of students, take a picture with the students and swap emails so everyone can post that photo on their Facebook wall, LinkedIn page or company website.

Okay everybody. You’ve got 5 minutes to DO THE TRIPLE T.”

You should have seen what happened. A room full of people happily texting, Twittering, taking photos, swapping cards and having a great time.

When I called everyone back to their seats (no easy feat), I explained the purpose of what we’d just done.

“There are 500 people in this room. However, in the 5 minutes you texted, Twittered and Took photos with your colleagues and new friends, there are now 5000 people who know about this conference.

When you go back to your homes and offices and blog about this, write an article for your company newsletter or respond to comments about this on your social networks, there will be at least 50,000 or 500,000 people who know what happened here.

You are SCALING and PERPETUATING the influence of this conference. People who didn’t have a chance to be here in person are now benefitting from the MoveHERS and ShakeHERS you just heard. Your epiphanies will not be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as soon as you walk out these doors; they will live on in the photos, articles and blog posts you share with the world.

And in sharing the wealth of the lessons learned here, you are recognizing and rewarding your organization for investing in your professional development. This makes it a win for you, your company and for this conference and its speakers and sponsors.

All that in 5 minutes.”

Are you chairing a public meeting, professional conference or networking function? Why not scale its influence by doing The Triple T ?

If you do, thanks for giving me – Sam Horn, the Triple T Emcee – credit for originating the idea. Here’s hoping The Triple T maximizes your event’s impact by taking it viral and giving it online “legs.”

  1. The Triple T sounds like an acrobatic feat from the diving platform. And it’s just like you, Sam, to try something new and surprising from the speaker’s platform. (“Turn your cell phone ON!”) And it’s just like you to POP! outside the box of our conference expectations. And then you name it something fun and sticky. Most of all, I love that you get everyone to share new ideas. How delightfully typical of you!

    Warmest aloha,

    • Thanks Tracey — you made my day – My Mothers Day actually — even more enjoyable. Appreciate your feedback . . .

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