Chatting on Tuesday to Tim Pickard, who runs RSA's European conference, about what the business of getting IT people to attend shows, I wondered what is expected on an IT pro in terms of justifying their time at one of these events?
As Pickard pointed out, they can be expensive not just in terms of money for travel, hotels etc but also in terms of time.(RSA Europe is two and half days but the US show is five). As a journalist, my time is hopefully justified in terms of the content I create – which tends to be a fair amount – and the contacts I make. (At this show, we have actually got four of us here – thanks mostly to shooting video which is pretty resource heavy.)
But I have always wondered (maybe I need to get out more) what normal attendees are expected to produce after attending a show – I see a lot of you scribbling away and taking notes but how much of this information is converted into a proper report and how much logged away for a rainy day? Or are conferences purely see as part of training and development – a perk in some senses – with no concrete outcomes expected? I guess I know the answer really – which is a combination of both but it would be interesting to get some feedback on how much practical- and I hate to the use the word actionable – information results from these events.