6 Ways to Turn Conferences into Meaningful Content

Man giving presentation

Training conferences are a great way to learn the latest trends and network with other professionals. They can also be a big investment for any church budget. No matter who attends, there are ways to turn that conference into great digital content. Here are 6 ideas for anyone attending a conference to create great content afterward.

The Elephant in the Room

I want to address a worrisome topic. Both small churches and large companies worry about sending people to conferences. They are a great way to invest in a staff member. Yet a team benefits only if the employee does something with that knowledge. You worry they might leave your church. Yet not sending them to conferences may encourage the same thing. My advice: send people to conferences, but ask they report on what they learned. With that, here are the six ways those lessons can become great church website content.

1. Latest Trends

After talking with a few speakers, the top trends should be quite clear. If not, visit the sponsor booths. Pastors will see trends with their congregation. Church communications know what the new technologies will be. Worship leaders have feedback on what style of music is getting the best response. No matter the topic, the new trends will emerge. Let your church know what that trend is, and why you will or will not follow them. Always remember the phrase, “What’s In It For Me?“.

2. Most Common Questions

What questions did you have for attendees and speakers? What questions did they have for you? Show some vulnerability and talk about the questions everyone is asking. You may not have the answers and that is okay. But at least let your congregation know that people are thinking about these topics.

3. Biggest Problems

Misery loves company. Learn about what problems plague your industry. This is similar to the questions that are being asked. Knowing groups of experts are tackling these problems may be reassuring. Also, it reinforces that we are not perfect. We all have issues to work through and problems to solve.

4. Greatest Opportunities

Positive thinkers in the audience will hear of those problems and see opportunities. The church’s early history is rife with this. Roman persecution could be seen as a horrific problem. Yet the scattering of early Christians made the faith to spread at an amazing rate. Where can we succeed in the face of adversity? What inspiring stories show how others flourished under pressure?

5. Breakout Sessions & Lectures

Almost all conferences have breakout sessions or lectures. Focus on one or two talks that had the biggest impact on you. As mentioned before, it could be about a problem or opportunity. It could also be some inspiring statements or ideas. Your audience often likes to learn something new. They also like to see when these ideas energize their pastors and church staff.

6. Short Interviews

Ask for a short interview with a fellow attendee or guest speaker. Create an outline of a few standard questions ahead of time. This helps keep the conversation moving, and adds consistency if you conduct several interviews. A key aspect is that you mention their social media profiles and organizations. They will likely share your content to their audience once you publish it. This helps both groups gain publicity and recognition.

Action Item

Reduce any concerns about sending someone to a conference. Ensure your budget is both cultivating church staff and informing your churchgoers. Ask that all conference attendees produce at least one piece of content. One key item not mentioned in the above items is photography. Most of us have a smartphone with a camera. Snap some good images to go with your content. Be cautious of copyrighted content in presentations. But above all else, share what you learn with your congregation. They will enjoy the education and the peace of mind that their resources are enriching the entire church.

Note: This was inspired by my experiences at companies, both good and not.

Photo courtesy of 祝 鹤槐 from Pexels

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.