Health and happiness to you in 2011.
I am planning on taking a sabbatical from pay-for conferences this year, and I thought it worth sharing the reason why for your consideration and comment.
Please bear in mind the following comments do not refer to any conference series in particular, but to healthcare conferences in general.
In short: I do not think I am either giving or receiving sufficient value from the pay-for conferences I attend in person to merit continuing to participate in them at the expense of experimenting with other forms of communication.
For me, it is the latter element of the proposition outlined above that is the most important, namely: were there no other forms of interaction available to me, I would continue both to co-ordinate and attend conferences for the ‘in real life’ (IRL), face to face (F2F) and networking interaction alone.
However, I believe we are working and living in a time where this in no longer necessarily the case.
I am going to give and recieve more value from 3 hours on Quora, or 3 days at a conference?
I’ll concede that the answer is probably ‘it depends on the conference’, and for that reason it is my hope that I can be more active in at-cost bar/bootcamps and unconferences in 2011, whilst electing not to take part in established events in person.
This does not mean that I will stop monitoring or participating in healthcare conferences remotely, of course. Rather, it reflects my opinion that the traditional conference format, regardless of the calibre of its speakers, the topicality of its subject matter, or the amount of interaction it endeavours to foster, may no longer be the best choice for those seeking to maximize the benefits they may confer and obtain in the time available to them. I am one of them; I expect you are another. Who isn’t interested in getting the most out of their time?
I would be interested to hear which conferences you are planning to attend in 2011, and to learn more about what you get out of them, networking aside.
Finally, I very much hope that none of the above should be an obstacle to our increasing the frequency of communications between us in 2011. I want to know what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Please reach out to me through any of the presences I maintain via the links in the top right hand corner of this site.