What grinds my gears – conferences and exhibitions

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Another in the irregular series of things which make me vent. I’m missing the Learning Technologies Summer Forum today so, if you’re there, some may seem familiar*.

Swag. So much swag. And plastic. Single use plastic. And unrecyclable paper brochures. And totes. Totes totes.

Gimmicks make you look gimmicky. If you’re using gimmicks to get people to notice you, you’ve lost me.

Speakers. Please read.

Conference tea. If you’re using water which is a) not boiling and b) stored in a coffee pot, your tea will taste rank.

If a topic is titled as one thing, make sure your speakers deliver that one thing. Not around it, parallel to it or a tangent to it.

Backchannels at conferences are great networking tools but lousy sales channels.

If you’re visiting the exhibition, remember people manning the booths are there to do a job. At least have a conversation with them before you try and take their swag.

Comfy shoes matter. Don’t look down on people wearing them.

If I come to your booth, don’t just scan my badge to send me stuff, I’ll file it.

* I have nothing but complete respect for the professionals in our industry who host, arrange, and make these events so engaging and useful. Please don’t treat this post as anything other than a gentle poke with a soft stick.

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