Fast Company has an item in its Corporate Shrink section. The question:
- I travel to several business conferences each year, and after a while they all start to feel the same. I know they're supposed to be important for networking, but nobody seems to be having a great time or learning very much. I leave feeling exhausted. Do they have to be this way?
While the Corporate Shrink says to emphasize the networking aspects, I'd say this person needs to find better planned meetings! (As do I, unfortunately, since I usually leave a conference feeling wiped out rather than energized.) There's no excuse for boring meetings, especially these days when there's so much out there on how to make learning fun, memorable, and, well, energizing. While I'd like for our industry association meetings to take the lead, let's not hold our breaths. Try incorporating just a little interactivity -- it can be a baby step instead of a leap into the unknown -- and see what happens. I bet they'll leave feeling a little less fatigued, a little more excited, and a little more likely to remember what they learned and try it when they get home.
A couple of other interesting items from FastCo:
And more to the point: The results of the Microsoft Office Personal Productivity Challenge, which include the fact that "69% believe meetings are ineffective." Probably one of them was the person who wrote the above question.