We've all been to a professional development conference that turned out to be a stinker.
And by "stinker," I mean the conference presentations are weak, too many people are selling stuff vs. being there to learn, and the conference producers seem to have not put meaningful thought into creating a productive conference experience.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could tell upfront if a professional development conference is going to be a stinker so you can avoid it?
8 Warning Signs
Here are eight warning signs to look for to better understand upfront whether a pending conference could turn out to be a stinker:
- Are details sketchy on speakers and sessions?
- Every time you go to the website, does it look like there have been lots of changes in conference speakers, with some conference speakers being swapped out with others?
- Are topics listed without any mention of specific speakers?
- Is there tremendous overlap between the named sponsors and the companies of the conference speakers?
- Is it difficult to find specific information about the speakers other than on the conference website?
- Does there appear to be minimal diversity among speakers, especially with respect to demographics and relevant experience histories?
- Are there limited choices attendees can make among content (i.e., not enough separate tracks upon which to customize an attendee's program)?
- Is there a heavy reliance on panel discussions that appear hastily thrown together?
If you answer, "Yes," to most of those questions, it's probably going to be a stinker of a conference.
How do you decide a professional development conference could be a stinker?
That’s my list.
What do you look for to spot a professional development conference that seems like it is going to be a stinker? - Mike Brown
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