What happened to conference content?

As time goes by someone can witness that more and more people attend events, conferences and forums just for the professional networking. I don’t underestimate the value of networking and it is definitely something very useful for any professional, but let’s consider something. What is the real purpose of a conference? And I answer to my question. Content!

I realise that people rarely care about the content of a conference and as I see it this is the result of the organisers’ perspective on this matter. They get carried away with event logistics and don’t really look to upgrade their event’s content. Spending time to find high quality speakers that can deliver valuable knowledge to their audience is not part of the agenda. The research stops to the point where keynotes can guarantee satisfactory attendance numbers and then the only thing that is missing is just some names to fill in the remaining slots.

But what does the audience really care about? How do they evaluate if an event is worth attending? A conference should offer relevant education and assistance no matter what the audience’s background is. It should help the attendees flourish and grow in the world that they live and work. The knowledge delivered to them should help them improve their professional performance and prepare them for future challenges of their professional environment.

Even if we see it from the point of view of networking, higher quality conference content will attract higher quality attendees that will want to absorb even the last piece of knowledge that the speakers can offer. This means that networking quality will be higher too. An event consisting of high calibre professionals and experts will definitely have a big impact and create a huge buzz in the industry.

So, it is reasonable to admit that content does matter. If content is valuable then the rest will follow. Attendance numbers will be sky high, audience quality will be higher too and networking will be much more valuable to the attendees.

Author: Manolis Kyriakakis

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