The Fall conference schedule is kicking off with the Annual Call Center Exhibition (ACCE) in San Diego next week. As I review my presentation slides, dust off my carry-on and look for travel size bottles of conditioner, I think about the 1,200 attendees that are doing the same thing en route to San Diego or to some other conference. (This is not a commercial for the event.)
For me, the largest issue to make this trek across the country to attend is the TIME that I will be out of the office. There is definitely a need for “work displacement” as it all still must get done. Conferences are a time for me to spend time with fellow birds-of-a-feather and to come away with a renewed sense of excitement for what I do.
I watch some attendees become obsessed with voicemail and email and never really get disconnected from the office. I wonder if they are getting a positive return for their investment of time (and travel budget) if sessions are missed to get work done.
First, do you agree that it is important to attend professional events?
How do you maximize your investment when attending? Personal habits to come away with useful ideas? Rules of Disengagement?
Do you select conferences based on the coordinating group because you know the agenda will be strong? (If so, which do you recommend?)
Have you ever rewarded a team lead or coach by taking him/her along to such meetings?