TMBA 268: Getting More Out of Conferences - “Breakfast is a Big Deal”

TMBA268: Getting More Out of Conferences – “Breakfast is a Big Deal” post image

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Bossman and I are in Tokyo this week following our annual DC BKK Conference in Thailand. We are gonna be recapping how the event went down, and reminiscing about some of our favorite speakers. We’re also going to be talking about what we’ve learned about throwing events, what we are planning to do in the future and sharing our advice for people that are looking to get the most out of all these upcoming conferences.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why great presenters focus on the lessons they have learned instead of the tactics that they use.
  • How to define a successful conference talk.
  • Why we are cutting back on keynote presentations.
  • How we are experimenting with ways to change the ways that conferences are run.
  • The benefits of being a speaker and why you should be doing everything you can to get on stage.
  • Why breakfast and hallway meetings can sometimes be the most important experiences at a conference.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian

Published on 10.30.14
  • Umm, no linksie in the “Mentioned” tsk tsk

    Happy to be a part of the whole thing, getting great feedback from the session will be ready for version 2 in Barcelona!


  • All I can say is I’m SO glad I went. Great job to everyone involved in getting it all setup!

  • The lightning talks and breakout sessions sound phenomenal. Great way to mix things up and encourage interaction.

    However, an “all hallway” conference = bleh (at least for me). Like a giant random networking event where you’re sorta on your own in connecting with 300 people, trying to find people with shared interests, and coming up with stuff to talk about out of thin air. IMO, having at least some structure makes for much easier launches into conversations, for example, even by just asking a person what they thought of the talk we both just heard or the activity we just participated in together.

    One of these years I WILL make the pilgrimage to DCBKK ;-)

  • Two things:

    1.) Peter Shankman is the man. Maybe not totally human.

    2.) The fast-track e-commerce LTV session I was learning from King Anton while discussing secrets with the founders of,, and

    3.) I can’t count but DCBKK was amazing!

  • BrunooArruda

    nice tips! this episode made me think… as location indep. ent. you guys must rule the tatics of making new colleagues on the cities you pass and also new friends… I don´t remember an episode like this, I think would be very informative and maybe funny too(of course that were failures along the way right?).

    Keep up the amazing work! thanks again!

  • hey Brunoo thanks for the idea! That’s basically the reason we built dynamite circle, it’s funny, not most of my travel plans are inverted. instead of going to places and then seeing who is there, I see who is there and let that dictate where i go

  • so nice to see everyone from first invoice to the ballers getting value out of those sessions, certainly I did! thanks so much for all you did to help make it great

  • Shayna it took you saying it to realize that I was being very unclear by what I meant saying “all hallway” part of the reason I love doing this show, actually, i’ve been going around saying that for a week and probably giving the wrong impression. I think sometimes I fall in love with the way something sounds and forget to be clear about what i’m trying to say.

    I agree with you that it seems the most valuable interractions at conferences seem to be ones that are “structured interractions.” we had a whole document this year called “ideas for structured networking” those ideas including things like: podcast interview rooms, breakout sessions, classroom, lightening talks, ‘matchmaking’ games, hosted dinners, etc etc etc. I basically want to find a way to make *most of the conference these types of interactions for people.

  • thank you Vincent! so glad you came too! :)

  • link added!!! best of luck with your big adventure, hope to see ya soon DT!

  • Great episode and an AMAZING conference. Each year I feel like the conference is growing up more and more. I can talk for hours on the benefits of putting in some work before the conference even begins and in connecting people. Organizing the lunch beforehand put me in front of people I wanted to connect with anyways. It laid the tone for the whole weekend for me.

    Great work guys, and the whole DC Team!

  • BrunooArruda

    that´s a really great way to think about it..

  • Jonathan Baillie Strong

    Great episode.. in addition to the “what are you most excited about in your business” question another one to follow up after that is “what do you find most challenging at the moment?” – which allows you to focus on where you can help others if possible.

  • Stacey

    Great episode guys! And so lovely to meet you in person Dan :) Really loved my first DCBKK and look forward to the next one – and hopefully sooner than a year from now (like Jesse said). By the way, you guys do a MEAN hallway with all those snacks and bulletproof coffee – ha!

    Personally I thought you had just the right mix of structured keynotes, lightening talks, and breakouts – however I agree, there were definitely more than 2 breakouts I wanted to attend so more opportunities for those would be awesome.

    Thanks again guys for putting on an amazing show!

  • Thanks for an amazing conference! You two and your team really did an excellent job setting this one up and “breakout sessions” are definitely the future. I look forward to seeing more of them at next years event.

  • Nathaniel Wilson

    This sounds like what I need to build my network! It’s definitely a goal of mine to attend next year.

  • thanks hope you do! it was a good time

  • thank you Anton, your contributions were greatly appreciated by us and I’m very certain the attendees. I got a ton out of your presentation, very thankful you helped us out there!

  • you too Stacey! So glad you made it out and that you had a good time. I had some breakout FOMO myself we’ll see what we can do about addressing that next year.

  • nice! I like that one

  • yeah great work on that Maciej I heard good things about that and am so happy you and others stepped forward to add that texture to the week, we’ll defo do our best to help you out next year if you are up for it

  • Thanks! Happy to do another one next year and thanks for the helping hand. One thing about the format that people seemed to like is that it was a little more structured. We first went around the table and introduced ourselves and then had a few questions along the lines of what is working now, any advice or tools people found useful. Then when food came it broke up into normal chit chat. Next year I’m going to do the same format as it seemed to work. BTW, Tokyo is so awesome.

  • Justin Cooke

    Wow, guys – Definitely my favorite DCBKK so far. I got to catch up with so many friends, hear so many interesting stories, and got to listen to and share the tactics and strategies that are working in business RIGHT NOW.

    For anyone looking to attend next year, I’d really recommend showing up a good 3-5 days early. There’s so much going on leading up to the conference that you won’t want to miss!

    Oh, and Jacob Puhl’s talk CRUSHED it this year for me…

  • RE: Jacob he’ s a boss!! :) Thanks for the kind words, totally agree on getting there early, we’ll work on organizing more pre-event events next year as well. Yo dawg, herd you like events so we put some events in your events kinda thing :)

  • Till Carlos asked me that one on me at a bullet proof coffee meetup in Ho Chi Minh!

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