The best thing about a conference…

..isn’t actually the conference.

No matter how good the content, the sessions, the speakers, these are never the things that I value the most about attending any conference or event.

What I value the most is the time. The space.

Because normally we are so immersed into the day to day, the next meeting, the next conference call, the next thing on the to-do list, that the thing we rarely get is time to think. Time to reflect. Time to just be. And that is when, for me, the ideas come. This is when I get creative, energised, inspired.

It comes from the conversation, the people, the time out.

The best things that you can take away from a conference are new ideas and new connections.

And I don’t just mean that you have listened to some high profile someone, standing at the front of a conference hall, telling you, selling you their wisdom. I don’t mean listening to a talk about what someone has done at their place, and deciding to implement it at yours. That way problems lie.

I mean that little spark. The one that comes when you are not expecting it. It might not even relate to the session, the talk, the speaker. Thought leads onto thought.

It’s the away from the office thing, the email pinging in thing, the meeting after meeting, people stopping by the office thing. We are away from the old routine, and that just makes your brain operate a little differently. It open ups new thought patterns, new synapses. Conferences provide you with a new stimulus.

Hold on people. I’m having an idea.

Whilst drafting this post, Sukh Pabial posted this blog, about the value of a keynote. Do read this too.

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