Create a Recognition Ripple Effect at Your Next Conference or Meeting

Image of 8 hands with their pointer finger and middle finger sticking out with all of their finger tips touching to form a large starby Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified

According to BB (yep, that’s Brene Brown), connection is the energy that exists when we feel seen, heard and valued. In every meeting, association conference, and corporate event, your participants are craving all of those things.

  • We are craving connection!
  • We are so depleted and need more energy.
  • We need to feel we matter and are important to each other.
  • We want to see and talk with people!

Whether it’s your first time back in person, a rare and precious opportunity, a special and monumental gathering, or you simply want to make it a more authentic and meaningful experience; we have an idea for you.

Create a recognition ripple effect by sparking connection through compliments.

I know what you might be thinking: wait, isn’t that awkward?

I get it. Compliments can feel tricky to give and even more so to receive. Not how we do it, though! Here are three ways compliments exponentially energized five delicious events this fall.

1. PCMA East – A Recognition Encore

Woman holding FROG compliment cards created by Sarah McVanelMeeting professionals had the bottom of their industry fall away in March 2020, and now events are back with a vengeance. Event profs are tired!

So, at PCMA East this past November, sponsor Encore Canada gave everyone five compliment cards and this mission: find five people at this conference you haven’t seen in a while or new people you meet that are awesome, and give them one of your compliments.

We called this a recognition encore. And yes, they ensured that French cards were provided for language inclusivity.

2. Pedagogy of Care – An Appreciation Echo

4 woman sitting around a table filled with FROG compliment cards created by Greatness MagnifiedChildcare providers don’t have an easy job anytime, and then with emergency childcare, extra cleaning, stressed families, and more, their work was just that much harder. They love love love the children, so there is so much to compliment. The tricky thing is childcare providers are so humble! In a breakout session at Pedagogy of Care, these rockstar professionals discussed with a partner the best compliment they’ve ever received and the compliment card to match. In essence, self-complimenting.

At the end of the session, they were charged with taking the over 100 compliment cards left and finding people to recognize over the next day and a half left.

3. Libro Credit Union – A Complimenting Chain Reaction

Two women holding FROG compliment cards created by Greatness MagnifiedCredit unions call their clients owners, and they mean it. They sincerely care about the people who do business with them and, not surprisingly, the people who serve owners. First, we unleashed everyone’s inner superhero at our opening session. Then in the breakout that followed, through a series of greatness exercises, individuals left the session with several compliments their colleagues noticed in them, including people they had never met (this part is always shocking…how can someone who’s practically a stranger see my greatness?)

Before they left, they thought of someone who deserved to be recognized and picked the perfect compliment to give them at lunch.

4. SHRM South Florida – A Kudos Carryover

Image of a man with a hand holding a FROG compliment card next to him  Talking about “The Great Resignation” can feel like a bummer; however, when we realize that consistent, meaningful and abundant recognition can move the needle on retention and engagement, HR folks are ready for action! They were charged with taking a pile (yes, a pile!) of compliments and finding people in their workplace to give them by the end of the week! Hand it over, post it in Teams, attach it to an email, post it on social media – the medium was up to them.

Interestingly, these busy and taxed HR rockstars found hope and excitement by taking on the challenge of giving away a handful of compliments. (Spoiler alert! More coming about SHRM in blogs over the next few weeks about association recognition best practices!)

How can you weave complementing into meetings, conferences and gatherings to enable people to experience recognition? How can you create meaningful peer-to-peer connections through acts of appreciation? And how can we help you to create your version of a scrumptious experience where every person feels included and belongs at your gathering?

Here are even more great event ideas:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve