I love conferences. I love the chance to meet new people, meet our users, see new technology, learn, explore (and sleep I have a son who loves to get up at 5am, I am not a morning person!).
There are so many conferences to go to, and they all sound so interesting. I could easily be at a conference every week. That’s not practical. Reality is they’re expensive, in cost but more importantly time. They mean a lot of time out of the office; time away from home. So how do you pick? How do you decide if a conference has been a successful use of your time? How do you measure the ROI?
Many years ago I met one of my former professors at a conference. I declared how much I was enjoying the conference. She was not. She explained that she rated every conference she attended by whether she walked away with 3 new ideas. She asked me what I’d learned, what new idea I was going to follow up when I returned to the office? After a long pause I realized nothing. I was enjoying being out of the office, the buzz of meeting old friends and making new ones. That’s not enough.
That’s now how I judge every conference, did I return with 3 new ideas. That’s what I’m hoping for from the Informs Annual Meeting, 3 new ideas.
What will inspire me over the next 4 days?
What will drive a step change in my thinking?
What ideas will I want to research more?
What will I learn at Informs………..