A note on conferences

I am back on the conference circuit and went to several events  lately (from 20 – 200 participants) but something has changed  – ok this is a very subjective assessment because it just takes into account the 10 conferences  I went to in the last 3-4 months or so.. Let’s start with the basics: conferences are mainly for networking – the content is often not that interesting, it is repetitive and speakers tend to be unprepared (which is also something I am getting annoyed with) So arguably, the most important things  during conferences are the lunch and coffee breaks – and maybe the occasional drink afterwards.

And unfortunately many conference organisers (again, very subjective observation!) don’t provide two essential items to make conferences a good place for networking:

  1. a participant list with contact details (for follow-up emails)
  2. conference badges with name & organisation (to identify interesting contacts during the breaks)

So – if you are organising a conference it would be greatly appreciated if you could remember to offer these rather  important networking tools.


  1. Name list with all emails – what about data protection…?

  2. it used to be quite a standard thing at conferences (it is not published anywhere – just included in the conference pack). There was always the possibility to opt out from this – but for many people this is a phantom debate because for example everyone can find my email on the website of my organisation…

  3. I was at a conference yesterday, wonder if it was the same one? From what you say it could have been.

  4. I used to go to a lot of lawyers’ conferences, but stopped some years ago.
    They became repetitive, useless, and because the same people attended, even useless for networking. Only useful if you can give a speech yourself.
    I also don’t need the conferences for networking, I get far more clients through my blog.

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