I attended a conference in Sydney recently and it is the little things that I remember about it.
There were great guest speakers, 3 of whom I really enjoyed listening to who made me think of what I had to work on in the future.
The conference was a success
It should have been a great conference however it wasn’t, simply because of little things that made a greater impact then the content.
I learned so much, there was so many interesting people I met, I made some great connections, I visited a city I love visiting, I got to do some essential shopping (books) and I stayed at a beautiful hotel.
So why wasn’t it a great conference? Honestly, it’s going to sound petty but this is what caused it to be an ‘ok’ conference.
Morning tea, lunch and dinner were not that great…..
I know, it’s petty but I wasn’t the only one who found it at the front of my mind.
At the dinner, which many of us attended the first night of the conference, we didn’t talk about the great speakers or what we had learnt, we talked about how odd the lunch was.
Here is an opportunity to be with your peers, talk about what had happened during the day and we talked about lunch!
What was the issue with lunch?
It’s the little things you remember. It was a great concept for lunch and the first time I had ever seen it offered. We all received a paper bag lunch with a salad, some mini quiches, a sandwich and some profiteroles in it. Sounds great doesn’t it?
However, most of the meal was odd in the combinations used. There was also nothing cold to drink however coffee and tea were available but with very limited places to sit. Someone organising lunch decided that because we were all women, we would only like a vegetarian meal and that’s what was provided.
As there was nowhere to sit and nothing to drink, just about every delegate grabbed their lunch bag and headed out of the building trying to find somewhere to sit and eat their lunch.
A fantastic opportunity to meet and mingle was not used.
Then at the dinner, we had an interesting speaker, but the conversation was on the rumours for dinner. It was going to be mainly vegetarian. The rumours were true and I really enjoyed my dinner, but there was long discussions about there being nothing wrong about women wanting meat for their meal. However, that shouldn’t have been our main topic of conversation.
That’s not the only little thing I remembered.
Another thing that was discussed was about the difficulty and annoyance of getting a coffee during breaks. The setup was weird. The setup should have been:
Instead it was reversed and set up the wrong way so when I got my cup, I started running into people who had been waiting in line to get a coffee who were running into other people who were trying to use the hotwater. If things were switched around, it would have been a smooth flow. There also wasn’t enough chairs for everyone to sit and talk
It’s the little things that are remembered.
I’m sure if I asked other delegates about the conference, they would mention the speakers, but they would also mention the weird lunch, the dinner and how hard it was to get a coffee. These are something we shouldn’t have talked about.
They are little things that shouldn’t be remembered because they had worked and just been a part of the conference. Yes we had morning tea, lunch and dinner – why would you ask about that? Instead, it became a major part of the conference and no longer a little thing.
That led to other discussions about other conferences and other little things that didn’t work. This was my first conference and learning about others was interesting, however it was the little things they discussed.
Conferences and meetings are about networking. Meeting new people, learning new ideas and being able to share. When the little things are not noticeable, you leave having a feeling of accomplishment.
What did I do about it?
I commented on the feedback form, I’m writing about it here and when I organise my next meeting, I’ll pay attention to the little things so the details and big things I want them to remember, are what they remember.
Have you ever attended a meeting or conference and been caught up on remembering only the little things rather then what you really attended it for?
Let me know, I would love to hear your stories.
Talk to you soon
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