Conferences for Development

I am in the throws of planning to attend the ASTD International Conference & Exposition as well as the SHRM 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition. A few things have come to mind as I plan the sessions I want to attend, time at the expo hall, and meetings with colleagues I may not get to see at other times of the year.

1. Do they have to let us know there is an exposition by putting that in the title of the conference? Just wondering…

2. At any given time, there are a lot of sessions. Because of this, two questions come to mind. First, why is it that my favorite sessions always happen at the same time? And second, how can there be times when dozens of sessions are going on but nothing that appeals to me? I know these contradict each other but I guess it’s an example of “feast or famine”.

3. Planning each of these conferences takes a lot of work. Thousands of people attend each conference and finding value for everyone that attends is a monumental task. So be extra kind to the conference organizers and volunteers.

4. Each event is being held at a great city. Part of the reason is that there are only so many cities with facilities to support such large conferences and they happen to be great cities. Another reason is that the conference planners know the city is almost as much of a draw as the conference. They are smart cookies!

5. There are dozens of talent management-related conferences each year and each has something specific to offer. Most people that I know can only attend one conference. In choosing which to attend, think about your development needs above your interests. For example, performance in the workplace is my passion but I am attending the more strategically important sessions to get ideas that I can transfer to action when I return.

Hope to see you there. Leave a comment if you will be attending!

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