Sunday, 20 September 2009

conferences - jolly good or just a jolly?

It has always interested me that two different people can look at the exact same conference, and one declare it to be an unmissable event relevant to their work and the other consider it a waste of time; a free day out of the office at best.

It always leads to a discussion about which events are worthwhile and which aren't, but here's the secret - whether a conference is worthwhile or not is only 10% the event itself and 90% what you do while there and afterward.

You could carefully plan the sessions you attend, take the time to meet people with similar technical problems or who have done worked with relevant technology and follow up with them later and, when you return to the office, share your new knowledge around and adopt some better practices.


You could have a few days out, enjoy some vendor's hospitality (free beer always tastes better), and check out some new bars and, when you return to the office, settle comfortably back into your old habits.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between a jolly good conference and just a jolly.

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