I’ve attended more than my share of conferences this year both as speaker and as attendee. Here are seven conference things that annoy the heck out of me!
1. Branded PowerPoint Templates For Speakers
Really, I mean really! We know the name of your conference. We know what your brand looks like. Do you want to bore us even further with your branded PowerPoint templates in every presentation? Your branded PPT is useless. It does not serve any objective except to make the audience throw-up in their mouth. Your branded PPT causes attendees to check-out before the speaker ever begins! Your branded PPT template decreases learning. Dump them!
2. Sponsors High Jacking Lunches And General Sessions
We are grateful that you secured a sponsor for the lunch or general session. We appreciate the sponsor. Really, I mean really, we do. Yet allowing some talking head from that organization to get up and talk at us for two or three minutes is painful. Their promotional videos usually backfire on the desired intent. You’re teaching us not to show up until 20 minutes – 45 minutes after the session starts so we don’t feel trapped by boring monologues.
3. Passing The Gavel To The Next Year’s Chair During A General Session
Are you kidding me? Do you really think we care who is the next chair? Do you think we really want to see you ceremoniously pass the gavel? Really, I mean really! We have better things to do with our time.
4. The Outgoing Chair’s Ego Monologue Of Everything They Accomplished
Don’t you, the conference organizers, the board and the chair know we can freakin’ read! Put their ego-logue in the annual report. Save the time during the session for more important things. The only people who care are the chair’s family and friends. Actually, they are just as relieved that the year is finally done and want it to end too. Stop this insanity now.
5. Parading Those Who Received Certifications That Year In Front Of Everyone
Are you that starved for important information or messaging to share during a general session? Wasn’t high-school and college graduations enough? Why do you think we want to see everyone that received their certification that year walk across a stage? There is absolutely nothing in that for us. Sure they are proud of their achievement. But really, I mean really!
6. Award Ceremonies During General Sessions
There’s a reason why not all of the Academy Awards are broadcast on TV. It’s because it takes too much time and they are boring. Unless you know the award recipients, you don’t care. So stop making every award recipient prance across the stage, accept their award and pause for a picture. It is utterly boring the heck out of your audience. We would rather hear fingernails on chalkboards. Put all the award winners in a short two-minute video and have them stand in the room for applause.
7. Panels Of White Men
It’s the 21st Century! Get a grip on reality. If all you can do is secure a panel of white men for the general session, then don’t do it. It just shows your insensitivity to diversity and today’s culture. Really, I mean really!
What irks you about today’s conferences? What would you add to my list?