I am writing this from about 35,000 feet as I head back home after being at a conference for the last three days. The conference itself was held in the hotel where I was actually staying in San Francisco. I have been to that location before so I knew exactly what to expect when I got there but that is not always the case. I have another event that I will be speaking at this weekend and it is the polar opposite of where I am just leaving. I go from a large metropolitan city like San Francisco, California to a very small town in Southern Colorado called Salida.
The people I am speaking to are not less important to me but the change in the atmosphere will be very much different. I go from $200 accommodations and dinner that costs $50 a plate to a $50 a night hotel and a $7.99 dinner including the free slice of pie. I don’t point this all out to make fun of the fact that San Francisco is overpriced or that Salida, Colorado is under priced. My point is that the people come from a different part of the world and speaking in front of one group will be somewhat different than the other. The other point is that event planning for each is on opposite sides of the spectrum as well. San Francisco is planned and dealt with higher prices and more complexities and the event held in Salida is much less complex with fewer things with which to deal.
Knowing your destination is important when planning, when speaking in front of an audience and as a user, an attendee and as a planner. Get to know where you are headed and remember where you just came from and make note of each. I think I am going to somewhere like paradise soon but that may be discussed soon. I think I need some sunscreen and a tropical umbrella for my drink as a clue. Where are you headed? Do you know the culture and what to expect when you get there?