I Know Diddly Squat – It’s Time to Go

By the time you’ll be reading this I’ll be gone – and (for once) I’m excited about what I’m leaving for.

Not that my mantelpiece is bedecked with richly embossed ivory and cream invitations to reflect a successful business and social life but I do get the occasional email, sometimes even a letter, offering me an attendee place at some conference or presentation… and grateful I am for the invite. It’s appeasing to be considered suitable as a guest. The thing is, from experience, some conferences just don’t come up to expectations and I leave feeling like a judge on a talent show –  not wanting to offend my hosts but realising any constructive criticism is but a drop in the ocean.  Over the years I’ve become increasingly selective in the exchange of my precious commodity (time)  for the objective gained as offered by attending conventions, conferences and the like.

The potential of some ‘musing’  time away from the office is inviting in itself; A lengthy journey can be a time of contemplation, a time to reflect on the day ahead or the variety of topics, panels, speakers and day in general left behind.  Until realisation dawns of an all-too-often chaotic train journey or the car drive fraught with delays ….and the motorbike was never a practical option (sold last year).  Bike
Excuses,  I hear myself say. I usually manage to come away from these things with something more useful than a pen or key fob; that is, I can’t recall coming away without learning something that I didn’t know …or meet someone whom I’ve wanted to match their remote telephone voice with their face. But in my view, most of the events of the type I’m invited to follow a well-oiled format of a) being further afield than warrants the journey b) could be done in half the time except (a) means logistics dictate and c) the equation of benefit for my business is too often lost through (a) and (b) coming into play.

Yet, when there is a topic of which I know diddly squat, offered by a fully-versed speaker, (a), (b) and (c) are scrubbed out. Inspired, I can be found irrationally giving out reason why I must attend.

Business people all over the UK are invited to attend seminars and conferences with all manner of titles – so how do you choose whether to attend (or not) when staying at home with online options can be so much less hassle?  Is it only those in which your interests are represented? What’s your validation for taking the step to spend your precious time (and money) to listen to someone offering up their ideas? Do you only go to those which offer one perspective (a self-sponsored event) or would you want to consider an objective perspective being offered? How do you identify where your business might have gaps that need filling and who is best to fill those gaps of information for you?

For me it’s the independents coming together (it’s always the Independent) that offers the most fulfilling experience. They’ve usually got significant speakers, well thought-out argument, experience and fascinating insight or knowledge. Sufficient to connect with me and get the grey cells turning … which, as the greater the power the greater the responsibility, can only add value for me and results for my business.

Image credits: Elias Gayles,  SUF,  Evie E.    Article credit: Copyright SUF 2013