Next Wednesday, November 30th I’m going to be speaking at a conference sponsored by the Massachusetts chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
I mention this because it got me to thinking about what I like and don’t like about conferences. I like really meaty sessions at conferences, and I get disappointed when speakers are entirely theoretical or philosophical. I do like the theory and I do like understanding the context, but then I want you to show me how. Or at least give me a roadmap, inundate me with URLs, show me some first steps so I can figure out the rest.
It drives me crazy when the subtext of a session is if you want the real details, you’re going to have to buy my book / hire me to consult for you / buy my product.
Ugh. People come to a session to learn something, and to have practical take-aways that they can use when they get back to the office. Or at least that’s true for me.
So that’s what my seminars are – heavy on the take-aways. Sure, I’ve got a couple of the requisite cartoons and polls to get people chuckling, talking, and sharing. A lot of people in my sessions have cool tools and sites to share that I end up checking out when I get back to my office. Prospect research is like that: new tools are popping up every day, and we do love to share them! I think that’s what conference sessions should be about, too.
My session, Using the Web to Manage Information Overload is going to highlight handy web-based resources that will help fundraisers save time and get to the information they need more quickly. Prospect researchers are welcome too – come bring your best tools to manage information overload and be prepared to share and to take away.
Selected meaty take-aways if you can’t make it to the session: