I ‘m looking forward to attending a couple of daylong conferences this spring.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend tons of conferences during my life, going back to the International Radio and Television Society gathering in New York City when I was a callow, wide-eyed sophomore at the University of Alabama. Several Country Radio Seminars in Nashville during my radio days provided good information and insights, along with many memorable musical performances.
More recently, I have attended numerous PR/marketing/digital/social media conferences in St. Louis arranged by a variety of organizations over the last eight years. At this point, let me offer thanks to all who worked to set up these events. And thanks to all who have presented. (This includes me. I presented at CSPRC’s Spectrum event in 2009 about media pitching and in 2013 about Facebook best practices.)
Here’s what I want from these events:
- Information and ideas I can use today in my career and my business.
- New ideas/concepts that should be on my radar for future consideration.
- Different, creative ways to approach issues I deal with on a frequent basis.
- Disruptive input, which may or may not be valid, but provides good fodder for discussion and consideration.
- Solid A/V work.
- Decent coffee.
Things I don’t want from these events:
- Presentations that are really just infomercials for an individual and his/her organization.
- Big picture concepts that are too vague. Give me precise details.
- Panels discussions dominated by one panelist, when all panelists have good input to share.
- Declarations I’ve heard at these events for years, such as: Mobile is big! Video keeps growing! LinkedIn is good! (Etc.) I know that!
- PowerPoints, Keynotes or Prezis with text and images so small the content on the screen can’t be discerned beyond the first row.
- Bad planning that puts a high-demand session in a smaller meeting room.
- Stick-on name tags that don’t adhere well to clothing.
If you see me at a conference this spring, say hello. Let’s hope we’re able to get several actionable takeaways when we attend these events!