The Up Experience, Truly Uplifting

Gail Davis, 02 November 2011

Up ExperienceThe Up Experience is aptly named. Organizers Ernie and Sheryl Rapp painstakingly create a real experience for each attendee.

Held in suburban Houston, the one-day event could feel like a “fire hose” kind of day. We’ve all been to one day events where you leave exhausted. Not the case with the Up Experience. The pace is perfect – partly due to the string quartet interspersed throughout the day – but mostly due to the format and speaker combination.

Great effort is put into selecting the perfect combination of speakers. The day is broken into four segments. In each segment, four speakers are each given 20 minutes. At the end of the segment, there is a 30-minute break. Attendees can use the break to refresh, check in with the office, or meet with the speaker for a deeper dive. Each speaker is in a smaller gathering area answering questions.

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An Audience with the Dalai Lama

Gail Davis, 10 May 2011

Several members of my team and I attended the 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum yesterday at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) McFarlin Auditorium. We were there to watch his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, receive the SMU Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. It was an experience to remember.

First, the process of getting to our seats. Due to security concerns we were notified we had to be in our seats 30 minutes early as the doors would be locked and no cell phones or purses would be allowed. Do you know how weird it is to go anywhere without your cell phone these days? It turns out President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, were also in the audience.

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The Best Email Tip I've Ever Heard

Gail Davis, 05 May 2011

Email tipThe IASB Conference proved once again why this industry matters. Speakers – even on unexpected topics – can inspire, expand your thinking or just give you a quick tip that will change the way you work every day.

Case in point: one of the speakers we heard was Laura Stack. A productivity pro.

Just as I was thinking that productivity pro was a new name for time management speaker, Laura gave me take home value that was worth the price of admission.

Here it is: I currently have 26,000 emails in my inbox. It’s overwhelming. I’m sure many of you struggle with the same challenge. Laura does not agree with my approach so she gave me many tools for changing my methodology to email.

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Don't Just Book a Speaker, Create a Revolution

Gail Davis, 09 March 2011

Has the Give Back tour has come to an end? Or has it?

I went to my monthly EO meeting last night. People were telling me I looked great, asking if I had lost weight. My good friend, Sam Lam, the plastic surgeon, lingered and said, “You look really good.” That is always a great feeling!

The truth? My weight is up and I have not had time for any plastic surgery.

It hit me what they were seeing was me radiating after giving back. Sure it was exhausting, but I was on a high from what I knew had been an incredible week.

When Andre arrived in town, I thought he was going to give nine speeches. He did so much more!

I want to give you a run down of what Andre did during this week. However, before I do, let me plant a seed for all you event planners and organizers out there. “Social Responsibility” is a big deal today.

Some say the younger generation will determine where they work based on the company’s commitment to social responsibility. More and more events are becoming experiential. So when you read this run down, I encourage you to think about how your group could create similar impact by giving back.

Okay, here is the recap.

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Kids of the Suburbs Take Note

Gail Davis, 07 March 2011

Andre Norman takes his message to the suburbs!

Up until now, I have heard Andre speak to the disenfranchised - audiences everyone knows need encouragement. Then he came to the affluent Dallas suburb of Colleyville, Texas.

Proving he can read audiences and adjust his message, Andre made some interesting observations when he came to Colleyville. Lots of suburban kids have dads missing-in-action as well. Oh, they live in the house, but they are gone on business. Or when they are at home, they often have a smart phone stuck to their ear. He also mused that young kids living in 4,000+ square foot homes must feel incredible pressure to grow up one day and do as well if not better.

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Visiting Their Cells Emotional. Energy.

Gail Davis, 05 March 2011

Let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who came to the WOSC event on Thursday night. It was another amazing stop on the “Give Back Tour.”

It’s been a busy few days. Physically, intellectually, emotionally. When the alarm clock went off on Friday morning, I was not sure I could handle another visit.

So for a moment I considered skipping out on the last stop in Oklahoma.

The stop was the Granite State Reformatory.

Then I was thought about how much Andre was giving back. I mean, if he could get up and go again, I could do it. I got ready.

This was serious stuff. A real prison. A real wall. Images of every prison movie you have ever seen came flashing into my mind. I was very nervous.

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