Things I hate about conferences (Editorial)

By John Hobel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/04/2001

The new-found reluctance to travel has put a damper on many conferences. That’s unfortunate because conferences and seminars do offer valuable opportunities for professional development and networking with both colleagues and business contacts.

The conference sector has some challenges ahead, so what better time to take a look at how conferences come off. As a journalist, I’ve covered more than my share of conferences over the years, so here’s some suggestions that can improve the experience for everyone.

Starting times. I once attended a seminar where the keynote speaker started by joking about how all the out-of-town attendees had made it for the first session, but people from the area were conspicuously late or absent. Obviously she was an out-of-towner who never had to make it across town at six in the morning. A little consideration for people commuting daily from outside suburban areas would be nice. My personal rule is, “if it happens before nine o’clock, count me out.”