Fancy joining me and up to 2,000 others that are expected for an Innovation virtual conference.
One that has been constructed around an agenda, made up of a seemingly good mix of practitioners, a key-note or two and product development experts working through the end-to-end product development process, or selected bits of it, in a one day event.
Crossing over the crossroads of conferences
Innovation conferences are for me at least, at a crossroads. I find many jaded, struggling to justify the costs and commitment of time we need to put in to participate, often in one way dialogues.
I would argue many have become simply established production lines, where they plug-in the theme, contact a few speakers and then set about finding sponsors and marketing ‘the hell’ out of the events. The costs of these are directly relevant to the pyramid structure of the commission or fees earned by those involved. I simply react badly to these. They are increasingly offering a diminishing return for me.
I know for some, conferences allow them to escape the confines of their offices and immediate problems and console and commiserate with others, swapping cards and hoping someone they run into offers them a passport to better places. Equally I do appreciate a conference can shake the cobwebs from the brain but so many of these lack real learning value and they do ‘suck up’ a lot of time and I believe are getting increasingly expensive to justify.
Then you have (thankfully) a group of experimenters that are becoming more ‘sensitive’ to the attendee and really designing different experience levels, using technology sensibly. I relate too these far more, as they are delivering not just a name or a brand but the ‘promise’ of some decent knowledge.
Certainly the old conference model, located in central cities or great resort getaways that attempt to offer a spattering of ‘big name’ speakers or brands to draw you over three days, is struggling to keep the numbers up and being totally reliant on organizations, quietly accepting that their people need the occasional escape.
Yet it must be increasingly hard to justify sometimes up to five days, when you include the travel and conference time together, for often a very dubious end result is ripe for significant disruption. For me, running my own business, I find it really hard to justify these conferences, with what it entails in time, cost and commitment. I do not see the return on the total investment.
We need better solutions that not just reduce the amount of time down to participate in these but rapidly increase the learning and value for a lasting contribution, replacing the ‘sound bites’ with ‘building blocks’ of knowledge that stays with us, to put to good use.
Using technology to save you time – plugging into the best on the conference block
Within these conferences that are tapping into technology I’m enjoying far more the one hour webinars, turning more and more away from physical attendance conferences, as they suck up really significant time and expense when you factor in travel time, hotel and air fare, let alone rising conference fees getting increasingly complex and expensive.
Give me more of the ones that if structured well are more than helpful, if not then I can simply ‘click off’ and leave and get back to work. These are so much more targeted and productive in use of my time.
The one that has the highest appeal for me is the concept of the virtual conference.
I’ve tuned in to one that I believe has always something to offer and give a take away or two and that is the PIPELINE virtual conference. This has as its host sponsor Planview and well supported by a good range of event sponsors keen that the content is relevant to product development professionals ,their invested space.
This gives me a significant return on my time. Firstly, it is virtual, so I don’t have to pack a bag, jump into a car or catch a plane or two, stay in an unfamiliar hotel room, and lose two extra days (at least) just too physically turn up and participate.
I can avoid adding to the nine out of every ten conferences average, where I have left disappointed or frustrated by choosing between multiple events, often choosing the wrong stream, or expected something a little bit half decent from a speaker. How often have you been forced to listen to them droning on about their solution, their specific insight that offers such little relevance outside their own organizations environment or been paid to offer yet another platform for extracts from their last book.
Virtual conferences give me control over MY choice.
So PIPELINE allows me to stay home, and watch a conference unfold in a fairly nicely organized virtual space. It’s FREE after you register and the conference itself is available on demand for TWELVE months after the ‘live’ event. I click on or off it if it is not relevant to me and here I can go back and revisit it at another time, so I can take that incoming call.
So if you can’t ‘attend’ the event this coming Friday June 6th, you can catch up on all of it at any time that works for you over the next twelve months. I think last year I went back and revisited selected parts four or five times to really grasp the points made.
So why not find the time? You need to register and here is the link
I think this is well worth registering and attending if you are involved in product development, wanting to extend your innovation understanding and plugging into some good speakers drawn from 3M, PDMA, Swarovski, Stage-Gate International and NYU Stern and others for different views and hopefully some promising keynotes.
The promise from attending this virtual conference according to the sponsors, is gaining some immediate learning that can become actionable strategies and you will get access to the year-round Product Development and Innovation Resource Center or library where content gets consistently updated and refreshed.
So to register go here. So why not come on in, enjoy a virtual conference from the luxury of your office, home or as you are on the move, going about your business?
Virtual conferences are more of the future. Cracking the networking part is the key. So I stay more than interested and positive that these events will evolve and become more of the solutions to our ‘investment’ in time and payback in relevant, applicable knowledge.
I’ve enjoyed PIPELINE previous so why not join me and more than 2000 product development peers globally at the PIPELINE 2014 virtual conference on Friday, June 6, 2014 and available throughout the year on (my) demand, in my chosen time and no cost to me! I like the sound of that.