You might be like me and dislike conferences. But, is that a good enough reason not to go? Perhaps not. So lets flip it and assume you love going to conferences. Is loving them enough of a reason to go? It might be for you. But suppose you wanted to convince a conference hater to go and to do so you had to come up with other reasons why you go different from the fact that you love them. What would those reasons be?
Conference Lover (CL): Conferences are great for team building and community.
Conference Hater (CH): If you only see a group of people once a year at a conference and not at any other time during the year, they are not your team nor your community. If you do see them regularly throughout the year, why have a conference?
CL: There is great teaching.
CH: If you own an iPad and have an internet connection, you literally have at your fingertips access to the world’s greatest teachers on any subject at anytime throughout the year.
CH: Assuming that networking refers to meeting people who have solutions to the problems you’re facing, why would you wait for a conference to hopefully meet someone? Why would you not actively pursue meeting the right people throughout the year?
CL: It’s a great time to get away from it all.
CH: Like a vacation? My vacation time is limited and I’m not going to spend 80% of it in a conference hall.
CL: Your presence at the conference signals your loyalty to the organization.
CH: Hah! Next….
CL: Vision casting from the leaders — seeing the bigger picture.
CH: I’m not fumbling around with no vision for 360 days of the year only to find it at a four day conference. Besides, you don’t want to make any major decisions for your life while being hyped up at a conference.
CL: You don’t want to be independent do you?
CH: My dependance rests on those close at hand. And their dependance rests on me. Only they can make demands on my time.
CL: Conferences are fun and encouraging.
CH: If the single subject of the conference were something that I was very passionate about, like a particular theological theme, or Christian education, or blacksmithing, then I might go for fun. But as soon as the conference is advertised as something essential for my success, then I know it will neither be fun nor essential for my success.
What else would you say?
I still don’t like conferences.