On August 6th and 7th 2015 I had the honor of attending the Global Leadership Summit in the primary auditorium for the event. I attended for two primary purposes:

  1. To learn more about leadership and become better as a leader.
  2. To learn how the GLS has taken the concept of a two day event on one topic and made it into a global phenomenon.

The following were my top eight insights for technical conferences:

  1. Streaming events of this nature have an incredible potential for global scope and global scale.
    The Global Leadership Summit had representation from 875 cities, 127 countries, 454 streaming locations with over 100,000 attendee’s world-wide (in some places I saw the number of 250,000 but 100,000 is a conservative estimate). As a size comparison that is more than 5x+ the size of Microsoft Ignite, and the entire worldwide audience for SCU 2015 would have fit into the primary auditorium that GLS was held in! The pictures at the end of this blog post show the stage and an idea of what audience seating looked like at the primary auditorium for this event.
  2. Keep a powerhouse speaker for last each day of the event.
    You want your attendees to leave feeling pumped up, and you want them to stay until the end so keep a powerhouse speaker for last every day of an event.
  3. Even massive conferences have technical glitches. As an example, on the second day in the primary location they had an issue with one of the large display screens on the sides of the stage. How did they address it? Humor: “It’s just not a summit until we break something“. Or just ignore it and go past it.
  4. The interview approach breaks up the public speaking rhythm (positively) and gives a different format potentially more comfortable for some types of subject matter experts.
  5. Humor can play an incredible role if it is done well.
  6. If the audience is truly engaged and interested you don’t even need to call them back to a session –‐ they know when the session starts.
  7. Use a simple hashtag and use it everywhere in the event!
  8. Experience increases success. GLS has accomplished this by being consistent in their task (making better leaders) for 21 years.


For those unfamiliar with the Global Leadership Summit, this is a two-day event held in Barrington, Illinois which focuses on leadership and has a strong Christian focus. This event is simulcast to event locations around the world and brings in top tier talent around for focus area of leadership. The speakers or interviewees this year included (in order of the event):


Bill Hybels @BillHybels

Jim Collins

  • Nationally acclaimed business thinker
  • Author: Good to Great (among many others available here)

Ed Catmull @EdCatmull

Adam Grant @AdamMGrant

Dr. Brene Brown @BreneBrown

Sallie Krawcheck @SallieKrawcheck

  • Chair, Ellevate Network; Former President, Bank of America’s Global Weather & Investment Management

Albert Tate @AlbertTate

  • Founder and Senior Pastor, Fellowship Monrovia in Southern California

Horst Schulze

Sheila Heen

Brian Houston @BrianCHouston

Sam Adeyemi @Sam_Adeyemi

Liz Wiseman @LizWiseman

Craig Groeschel @CraigGroeschel

  • Founder and Senior Pastor, LifeChurch.tv


Based upon the list above it is easy to see one thing – this was a packed lineup of speakers for a leadership conference!


For more information on the Global Leadership Summit I recommend the following links: