Monday, October 3, 2011

Why I don't do conferences (usually...)

I find myself increasingly uninterested in attending conferences (unless invited to attend in the guise of a speaker), and it’s not because of the content, materials or speakers that's on offer (although that last one on that list is sometimes debatable...); no – the reason I don't really do conferences is because of me.

Over the years I've come to better understand myself – what excites me, how my brain ticks, and so on; and what I've come to realise is that I don't learn well by sitting in a room or up to 2 hours at a time listening to people talk at me. I get bored (maybe that's why I struggled so much at school, but went on to gain a raft of post-graduate qualifications?), and as a small business having the time of my life, I can't justify investing my time in something that generates little (if any) immediate and tangible benefit for me.

But don't fret, I still reflect on my knowledge and seek to further build upon my skills, it’s just that for me its best done in other ways: journals, podcasts, action learning and peer reflection (the latter being best done when staged in a pub!) In fact I value my ongoing learning and development so much that I report on how much I 'do it' as part of my annual social impact/accounts.

So, chances are you won't see me at the conferences that you might expect me to be hanging out at (unless I'm on the speakers list), but that's not to say that I've become arrogant and don't think there's anything more for me to learn – it’s just that I learn better in other ways...

but if you find that you just can't get out of going to them, this piece from Blue Avocado might offer a life-line...

1 comment:

  1. I get the point you are making as i have recently attended conferences and found myself wondering if my time could be better spent doing something else!
    However they seem to be 'all the rage' and have regular attenders who after a while seem to only attend for the free food.
    I would not give up on going to them altogether though. I do choose a select number of conferences to attend and see them as networking opportunities to ensure JobTrials hasn't been forgotten about.