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Submitted by donm on


I have signed up for both the Management and the Communications conferences to be held in Houston on June 18 and  June 19 of this year.

I read the package that accompanied the registration, but it was more of a "how do you get to the location" and an agenda handout. I also know about dress. I live only minutes from the location when I am in Houston, so that will not be a problem.

  1. Are there any recommended preparations for either conference?
  2. Do I need to get a DISC profile done before the ECC?
  3. Are there any particular podcasts I should have listened to before I come?
  4. Should I bring my notebook?
  5. Can I bring my computer?

The list is mostly a peanut butter list to help others come up with possible ideas. I've only been listening to the podcasts for about two weeks, so I've been through relatively few of them. I've done all the basics, and am now just going through the premium list chronologically.

Lastly, is anyone else going to the conference who might want to get together beforehand? When I'm not in Dubai, I live in Houston, so I can meet pretty much anywhere. As I stated above, I live near the Galleria, so this conference locale is perfect for me.

jrb3's picture
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My impression from reading conversations here about the two conferences, and anticipating going to the Atlanta conferences in August, suggests this to me.

Recommended preparation:  make a list of pressing questions, for own situation and anticipating own growth path.  And have a fresh stack of business/contact cards on hand.

DiSC profile:  do if convenient.

Podcasts:  basics if practical -- I plan to re-hear these over the coming months.

Notebook (of paper):  yes, several, with extra pens.  And lots of index cards because that's my favorite way of jotting down ideas for later action.

Computer:  If I bring mine, I'll leave it in the hotel room.  (The Atlanta site looks to be close to my home, so I won't bring my laptop if I go home to sleep between days.)  I'm attending to learn to communicate face-to-face more effectively, and having the computer around, even as a weight on my shoulder, will be counter-productive for me.

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Having done the EMC and ECC, here's my take on what you've said above:

1) The ECC supplies you with a DISC assessment, and that is mandatory to do prior to the conference.  My tip would be to do it as soon as you are sent the details - that way you can spend time researching a bit more around your own DISC type.

2) Start re-listening to the MT basics casts as soon as you register.  The EMC supplies a list of casts as prep, but I wasn't able to get through them all* in the time between being sent the list and the conference.  Not a biggie - I'd already listened but a refresher is nice.

* I added a few related casts to the recommended ones!

3) You'll be doing a lot of interaction and for that reason I recommend a notebook and pen over a laptop.   You will get copies of all the slides before the day starts, so you're really only jotting down questions and resonant concepts.   You certainly don't need to try and capture the lecture portions verbatim.

4) Prepared Questions always a good idea.   However, it was amazing to me how many got answered during the course of the day.  I was also able to grab Dani during the breaks to get some answered privately.   Dani and Mark worked HARD those days and part of that was being available to people all day.

5) Dress WARM.  They are not kidding.   The cold air keeps the ideas fresh I guess!

6) Enjoy yourself.  Management may be boring, but the conference is not.


Dani Martin's picture
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Hi Donm -- Thanks for posting your questions about preparing for our conferences.

Starting 5 weeks prior to the conferences, you'll start receiving pre-conference emails with preparation information. For the Houston conferences, those emails start this week. You should receive the first one tomorrow.

The emails will include suggested podcasts to listen to prior to the conferences. For the EMC we suggest listening to The Basics. For the ECC, we suggest listening to the following DISC casts: First Steps with DISC; The "D" in DISC; The "I" in DISC; The "S" in DISC; The "C" in DISC.

About 4 weeks prior to the conference, you'll receive an email invitation to complete your DISC assessment.

Yes, a notebook and pen is a great idea! You'll receive a hard copy of the deck used each day. Many folks find it helpful to bring their own notebook to take additional notes, highlights, answers to questions, etc.

You *can* bring your computer, however, you won't use it during the conference, I promise! :-) Some folks check email during breaks, however, there might not be wifi in the conference meeting room. I suggest leaving it in your hotel room or at home. ;-)

And yes, Mark's suggestion about dressing warmly is a good one to follow! The room will be cold. We say it over and over again...because it's true! :-))

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at dani(at)manager-tools(dot)com.

See you in Houston!


donm's picture
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It's funny, but I listened to the podcast about computers in meetings about two days after writing the list above. I am the 1% exception to the computer rule. I turn off all desktop intrusions (even the system-generated ones; I don't mind registry edits), and I type faster than I write. Heck, I type faster than I talk, and if you've ever heard me talk, you'll find that hard to believe. I can nearly keep up as well as a court reporter. Per the challenge in the podcast, I'm even willing to show my notes and supply handwriting samples to prove why the computer for me really is a tool and not a distraction at meetings.

All of the above having been said, I'm going to leave my computer at home as requested. That's why I asked, and of course I'll comply with the request. I usually take it to conferences and meetings where I know there will be room on a table, and get the same benefits as hand-written note taking. The notes are 90% a memory aid while taking them. I rarely need to refer to them except historically to prove what date something was said or decided.

donm's picture
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Those podcasts are not on the RSS feeds. I've downloaded all of the manager tools and premium podcasts. Those episodes aren't on either. Can you tell me where to get the podcasts and their dates? I think that if they are required for the conferences, you might want to consider including them in the premium content, even if there are no slides.


mattpalmer's picture
Dani Martin's picture
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Sorry for my delay in responding. Thank you, Matt, for putting the links up.