A better way to have conferences?

BloggerCon‘s leadership has posted its standards for newbies (newcomers) and again I think we have hints for a working format for district meetings and General Assembly. Go look; it won’t take you five minutes to read it, and chances are you’ve spent much, much more time than that bored stupid at some meeting, GA or otherwise. This might help.

I am frustrated when I spend a lot of money (but not this year) to cross the country, attend workshops by would-be leaders, and get little more than a handout and no opportunity to discuss ideas or network. I’ve been guilty from both sides of the process, so I won’t play the innocent.

There are no innocent parties at General Assembly, after all; we all get caught up in the weird mix of emotions, playtime, and opportunity to show-off or snipe. Or, play hooky, and that’s wasteful, too.

A change at GA needs a change of behavior. For instance, I can imagine resistance to “sharing” since that could devolve into a game of oneupmanship faster than you can say “back in the day.” We would need a standard for discourse, behavior, and how the information was used. Imagine being encouraged to prepare for a workshop by pre-networking with people who would likely attend it? Imagine not getting bored because some windbag has hijacked the meeting (or imagine having your reputation spared so you wouldn’t become known as an old windbag.) While some of the standards for BloggerCon are specific to user-centered blogging, I could see how this could apply to the administration of the Association, districts, and affiliate organizations.

So, what could you suggest that we as would-be participants (as opposed to consumers) could do to make our denominational meetings better? What could we do this year?

See my earlier comments on “lightening talks” for more ideas.

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