Up, Up, Up. The Up Experience Part 3

Gail Davis, 08 November 2011

Up Experience(If this is the first time you’re reading The UP Experience, click here and here. I promise you won’t regret getting caught up.)

For the first time, I was able to hear “Chef Jeff” (Jeff Henderson) speak. What an impressive human being. He earned the first standing ovation of the day.

I have always believed that at our core we love the comeback stories. And when you’re sitting the audience actually seeing and hearing a comeback, it’s even better. Chef Jeff turned his life around when he learned to cook in prison. He has published cookbooks and been on national television. His message is simple…. Take control of your life, whether it is your personal life or your work life.

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Round 2 of the Up Experience

Gail Davis, 04 November 2011

Up ExperienceAs I explained in my last blog, I had the opportunity to attend the Up Experience in Houston last week. It was a fantastic day full – and I mean very full – of speakers, but it felt like a perfectly performed symphony. I left uplifted and informed and inspired.

The day was broken into segments, four speakers per segment. Each speaker got 20 minutes. Here’s my take on segment 2. (Click here if you want to read about Segment 1.)

The second “Houston Up Close speaker”, Laura Spanjian, kicked off segment two. Laura is the Sustainability Director for the City of Houston. Her passion and commitment to transform Houston into the electric car hub and a true green city were inspiring.

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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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A First Class Event

Gail Davis, 21 October 2011

First ClassI have had the pleasure of working with Frank Abagnale for many years. I have booked Frank for large human resource conferences, corporate events and various organizations and associations.

You might know Frank’s story from the movie, “Catch Me if You Can,” which is now also a Tony award-winning play. His presentation is one that captivates the audience and let’s your imagination run wild as a planner.

Last night’s event was one of most cleverly themed events I have ever attended.

The organizer put her heart and soul into the details. You know it’s really great when the speaker gets a big kick out of the theme!

The entire wait staff was dressed in various outfits to portray Frank’s story. There were Pan Am flight attendants, pilots, doctors, an FBI agent and a prisoner. Those portraying pilots and doctors even had on the name tag with Frank’s alias.

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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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