Monday, 3 March 2008

More on Better Conferences

I just saw a post by Chris - ASTD TechKnowledge 2008 Postmortem. I still need to do my more detailed session review, but I definitely left out a few thoughts in my posts Move to Front?
and First Thoughts After ASTD Sessions.

And really, Chris made me realize that I had left out a few things from some previous posts around Better Conferences and Conference Breakout Sessions.

1. Entertaining Keynote vs. Content Rich Keynote

Chris tells us -
The opening keynote by David Pogue (I’m a big fan!), while not specifically related to eLearning, was energizing and highly entertaining.
I would completely agree. Entertaining and not related to eLearning. I had my laptop out and was ready to blog about it. But I didn't find much to blog about. I've had this experience before and I'm often torn. I like to hear from people who are doing interesting things in related fields. But, pure entertainment doesn't seem appropriate to me. So, I personally would rather hear from a visionary in our field. Actually, I think I could pull together something better with a few visionaries that would still be entertaining in that it would be an Aha rather than a Woohoo.

But that's me, how about you?

2. Last Day Letdown

Chris tells us -
Sadly, the event ended with more whimper than bang, with a classic final-day conference letdown. Why do half of the participants always disappear before the final day of a conference?
This is classic. I always try to avoid presenting on the last day. And I generally leave before the last day. Normally, it's only half a day. And conference organizers know that this happens. Not sure what you can do about this? Is there a better model?

3. Breakout Sessions

Chris tells us -
Both sessions I attended on the final day included extensive (and worthless) breakout group activities.

If presenters plan to include significant group breakout activities in their session, please require that they warn us in the session description. So I can go elsewhere. I hate to sound harsh and unkind, but geez - can’t we move past these trite group activities already?
Whew, I barely dodged this bullet (and Chris attended that session). Thanks to everyone for redirecting me via Conference Breakout Sessions.

4. Waiting for Aha

Chris tells us -
I’m still waiting for the iPhone unveiling at Macworld moment at one of these eLearning conferences. Something that makes me sit up and say “Whoa!” Perhaps that is too much to expect, but I’m clinging to the hope of seeing something truly game-changing one of these days.
No doubt that Chris is more advanced than most who are attending. Therefore, harder to get an Aha. Still, it would be nice if there were more opportunities.

Applause for Chris for an interesting postmortem that helped spark some thoughts. The conference organizers must love this - if they read blogs. :)

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