All I Want for Christmas is a Better Conference

 

Twas day one of the conference, and all through the hotel, every speaker was boring, it was PowerPoint hell.

We’re shoulder-to-shoulder and facing a stage. The “expert” is droning, she’s failed to engage. Instead, she is reading each bullet with care, I’m sure that she’ll finish with no time to spare.

The keynote ran over and didn’t delight. Up next is a panel, which sure won’t excite. One topic/three speakers who didn’t prepare to present together, it is a nightmare!

One speaks for forty, the other fifteen, the final one’s hoping to get a word in between. When the floor opens for questions, just one hand is raised, though there’s really no query, just a jerk seeking praise.

In between sessions we head to the hall and give cards to vendors but hope they won’t call. We’re searching in vain for the best of their swag and putting it all in our large conference bag.

Now that our day is finally done, we go to the bar for some “networking” fun. A drink in our left hand, biz cards in our right, and praying the bar is open all night.

For the rest of our conference, this cadence repeats, with reminders ‘bout surveys that we must complete, rating the speakers and sessions so that, next year we get the exact same format.

We finally head home, hungover and tired, wishing we’d been a bit more inspired. With pages of notes that we’ll never read and pockets of biz cards that we’ll never need.

Once back we reflect on the conference we had. It’s always the same, not so great but not bad. We wish better meetings someone would invent, and for our next meeting, we’d use Filament.