See, Engage, Act—Mixing It Up at WebVisions Chicago
By Sarah Horton and David Sloan
Conferences are great. You get to hang out with like-minded people and listen to smart people talk about things that interest you. A conference usually means a break from the everyday frenzy that characterizes most work life—a chance to slow down and reflect on interests, goals, and activities. A chance to refocus on what’s meaningful. Most of us leave a conference jazzed, ready to act on new ideas and new thinking. The trick is keeping hold of that energy and commitment once reengaged in the day-to-day, and remembering what we learned.
Coming from higher education background, we both know that deep and lasting knowledge comes from direct engagement. When someone learns a new concept and does something with it, like use it as the basis of a talk, paper, model, or presentation, it’s more likely to stick in their brain. Or put more eloquently in the words of Professor Chris Jernstedt, “The person who is doing is the person who is learning.” As sometime-presenters at conferences, we struggle with the standard “sage-on-the-stage” format. We know that we learn an awful lot putting together our presentations, and from engaging with the audience during and after the presentation. But what about our attendees? Do they learn in the moment? And does anything they learn stick? (more…)