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Monday, January 28, 2008

ASTD TechKnowledge 2008 - Conference Planning

ASTD TechKnowledge 2008 is coming soon in San Antonio. Now that it's less than a month away, I thought I'd sit down and try to do some conference planning.

To help me prepare, I went back to a few previous posts on related topics...

In looking back, I first found a lot of posts that really suggested the key was having a good set of questions to provide a lens onto the conference:
I need to figure out what questions I really have for this conference. I'm going to have to think a bit about that and come back to it.

I also found a few posts around practical attendee ideas:
Ray Sims had some good practical suggestions in the comments of Conference Networking Tools that suggest how to make contact. It somewhat presupposes you have a purpose. It also supposes you can get into and use ASTD CONNECT for the conference. I don't think I have a login yet. Does anyone else?

I also looked at a few posts more from the presenter / organizer standpoint ...
The better conferences post reminded me that one of the more interesting sessions I've been involved recently were very small (10 person), very early (7AM) sessions that were a moderated group discussion on a particular topic. For some reason, conferences that have table topics never achieve that kind of discussion. Maybe it's the separate space. Maybe it's the moderator preparation. Maybe it's the level of the discussion (more specific question / topic). Maybe it's the expectation of the people attending.

It doesn't appear that TK2008 has any formal ways of doing this. There must be an informal method.

So, my task list:
  1. Figure out what my questions are for this conference (really for this year).
  2. Plan my sessions accordingly. Review sessions handouts ahead of the conference (available one week before) to figure out what sessions make sense.
  3. Plan my trip into the Expo accordingly.
  4. Find informal opportunities to discuss these topics with other attendees.
What am I missing here?

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