A couple weeks ago, I attended the CSAE Winter Summit in Niagara Falls and for the duration of the time onsite I made a conscious effort to note my delegate behaviour. (No lamp shades stories here – this time!)
In 2014, I had the opportunity to participate in a Parks Canada initiative where they facilitated a process to determine if they were including all ‘traveller types’ in their experiences across the country. Here is the quiz if you are interested to know what type of traveller you are.
Since then, I have been very interested in the personality type for delegates. In last month’s blog, we discussed the importance of creating a sense of belonging during the meeting design process.
Here are some delegate types you may recognize at your conferences:
Expectation Seekers and Setters: Similar to the Social Pollinator, these delegates do reveal themselves early to find that one typo on the registration form or technical glitch on the website. They love to ‘help’ the organizing team by finding fault – for the greater good. They feel they can offer great value and can be spotted in their natural state with one arm in the air in preparation to clarify a point or ask another question. This delegate is very punctual and loves the app and the handouts.
Social Pollinator: Easily recognizable in their natural habitat, these delegates are highly motivated by the social equity of personal relationships. Often chatty and gregarious this delegate can even be spotted online in the conference app prior to the conference’s start. They are quickly identified in the crush space at the Welcome Reception hugging and kissing anyone within arm’s length. Their behavioural traits are to book late and arrive late to breakout sessions because they spend so much time gabbing in the foyer. The free-spirited Social Pollinator requires little structure and may be found downloading the event app as they walk into their first session.
The Solution Seekers: These delegates feel very comfortable in a role of responsibility such as the organizing committee or volunteering their time to help develop the educational content. They are very good connectors and can easily navigate their way through a complex venue layout. Solution Seekers are often spotted showing others the way, this including helping another delegate download their app or reminding them of the time to catch the shuttle to the off-site event.
The Unexpected Delegate: Not to be confused with the ‘Why Am I Here’ delegate, these folks I consider Cross-Pollinators. This delegate may not even be a member of the society, however they bring value from other perspectives and in the spirit of innovation, they are the civil engineers who build bridges to new collaborations.
Understanding delegate traits leads to a better experience for all delegates. Have you spotted other versions of the domestic delegate?