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Beyond persistent dose of meetings, the ailment a professional suffers is getting conferenced. Conferenced is not negative, as it sounds of being pushed into it, on the contrary it evokes complex feelings, sometimes fascinating; a gourmet & cocktail journey. We get even sleeping participants & at times the locale does the magic; Goa & Kovalam. Professional returns are puny compared to the effort & funds put in.

Months of preparation means correspondence with Chief Guest / Speakers, putting logistics in place. But for deciding topics of the technical sessions, locating of moderators, having an eflyer or one introductory paragraph each, is all what is done in the name of content. The folders / bags which you receive has goodies / stationery / pen but never ever content material.

The participant preparation even for non-sponsored professional conferences is in a disarray. Most participants see the agenda on arrival. Getting abreast with the topic even at the last moment can be a mood spoiler. It spoils the festive mood of fun, flavour & frolic. Bereft of conference specific content, the session timings are adjusted to get the maximum publicity or sponsorship mileage.

Post conference documentation is not serious enough, few ppts, a sketchy report & videos uploaded ends the story. Tasks outsourced. Professional growth through knowledge is the only underpinning of a conference. How many of the participants get rewedded to knowledge, after moving out of it, on getting their first job?

The conferences have failed to create subject matter experts. Having become one, some start churning out routine public speaking stuff. Why the professional participant refuses to take the plunge to be a subject matter expert? Why doesn’t he want to hit the knowledge dissemination mode? The purpose, methodology, content, quality, output & impact of conferencing needs to be redefined outright.


Sanjay Sahay

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