I finally took time to attend my big industry annual conference related to training. It is called the ASTD conference and was held in Denver in early May. I had not been able to attend this event for several years due to Dave’s (my husband) battle with pancreatic cancer.
I had remembered it was a large event – 8,000 – 10,000 attendees, more than 290 sessions, and more than 700 exhibitors. I had memories of feeling overwhelmed when I used to attend but was also excited about going to the conference in 2012 so I could learn about the current trends in the training industry. I was there for 4 full days. Aside from walking for miles and miles through masses of people, I did find some of my sessions very interesting and educational but most often they were packed with several hundred people (not very personal). I found that several sessions were not really geared toward me because I am an external vendor whereas many of the attendees were internal trainers.
I did learn some fascinating tips, met a few new people, and gleaned what I could but have a feeling I will not go back to that conference for several years just because it is too big…. too many vendors…. too many masses of people. I truly prefer more intimate sessions of which there were about three.
As you look for executive assistant conferences or administrative assistants conferences, be sure to look at the speakers presenting, their session topics (do they pertain to you, your goals and your profession); the size event – intimate is really chic! You get to know the attendees far better and can meet more of them. When a conference is more intimate, you get to meet the hosts and movers and shakers. You are not just number but a face. There is more opportunity at break and lunch to mingle with the staff hosting the conference. The benefits go on and on.
Maybe you like attending administrative conferences with 2,000 attendees and love to choose from 100+ sessions and like the hustle and bustle of all the people. That is great. But you also may want to “change it up” for once and attend the kind of conference we host where we find our success has been in keeping our executive assistant conference under 500 attendees.
I am just like you in that I want great learning, speakers, entertainment; meaty content, quick tips I can implement now, to meet new people in my profession and a lovely venue for the conference. Since I experience this as an attendee and require it as an attendee, I expect no less of our staff delivering these same things to our attendees.
What do you look for when you are attending a conference for your professional development? Check out our conference for administrative excellence.