Conference or Classroom

20120531-152756.jpgWhen I first started attending conferences I took my schoolgirl habits with me;
– I arrived when the conference organisers said it started
– I went to every session
– I took notes
– I wanted a copy of all the slides

Oh how times have changed.

I look now at the agenda and the list of speakers and attendees, I attend the sessions that are useful to me right now, or inspiring for the future. Twitter becomes my notes, I’ll follow conference speakers and later check their websites, blogs or linkedin profile. I will skip supplier presentations 80% of the time.

What brought this change about?
One thing is just time pressure, even if I’m at a conference the emails still roll in. A second thing is I just can’t listen and concentrate for that long.

But perhaps the biggest thing is that I’m not collecting information to pass an exam of random questions. I walk in the door with the questions and I’m looking for answers.

postscript; the conference organiser read this post and has been checking my attendance

Image Conférence : Le château Saint-Gilles de Tripoli : nouvelle lecture, par Anis Chaaya (Ifpo) (Beyrouth, 21 février 2012) /ifpo/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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2 thoughts on “Conference or Classroom”

  1. Good post. Another point is that conferences are also about networking and sometimes it’s necessary to miss some of the formal sessions to meet up with colleagues and contacts

  2. Thanks, and you’re absolutely right, in one of the sessions I missed I took an extended coffee break and talked with another participant in more detail about what we’re each planning. For me that was more valuable.

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