I’m back home from Reboot8 feeling very energised by the whole experience and reflecting on why I got so much from it.
Generally, I don’t enjoy conferences. I find I get uncomfortable if I have to sit for too long in an audience listening to a series of presentations. This also applies to panels and Q & A sessions as well… essentially any format where one person at a time gets a microphone. Unless that person is me… and even then I have my reservations. There were points at Reboot where I experienced severe presentation fatigue – but fortunately Reboot offers a great informal social space for informal conversations. I skipped many sessions in favour of chatting with old friends in the cafe area or terrace. A few minutes of good conversation and my fatigue vanished. Towards the end of the first afternoon, when I was feeling conferenced out, I skipped the evening events and gathered with a few friends for an excellent dinner which once again restored my energy.
It seems that other people have longer attention spans and they got more from the formal sessions than I did. And the great thing is, some of them write blog posts with the highlights, and I can read these at my leisure later. They digest the powerpoints for me and feed me back the highlights, with some reflections of their own. It’s funny that I found Bruno Giussani’s engaging reflections via a blogger who wasn’t even there at the conference, Mark Lloyd.
This way, I feel I get the best of both… key ideas from the presentations and all the satisfaction of looser and more informal conversations. I am left wondering how many of those sitting in on lots of formal presentations were getting what they wanted… but I certainly got my needs met.