I love conferences, I attend them whenever I have the time, and sometimes I even pay to attend them.  I find them useful as the topics that are discussed are either research subjects by the researchers or professors themselves or by people in the industry who are experts in their fields, or by writers and publishers of books, so in a day you could be reading few books and journals in a capsule. The dissemination of knowledge is so intense that your mind works so fast to understand and also to review, compare and discuss what is being said. Don’t forget that by attending the conferences one also meets lots of interesting people who will one day become clients or you will be their client. The networking opportunities are immense, and if you are a smoker then their will be more interactions and discussions on the corridors, rather than inside the lecture rooms

Not sure if you have noticed though how the presenters disperse their knowledge? they either read the slides word by word, or stick by the podium (and if they are short and you are sitting at the back, you don’t know who is talking!) as if its going to protect them from the tomato and egg throwing party’ Or some just speak in a monotonous way that slowly puts you in a sleeping mode and let you dream of monsters and vampires. Some speakers have so much information and they squeeze them on the poor slide to the extent that it will explode from the number of words on it.  Some times, you will see great presentations but the person is shivering as he or she feels that he hasn’t provided enough information; so you will think if he or she are not confident enough, then how on earth do we know if the research is theirs to begin with?

Of course, knowing me, I use the evaluation forms to disclose my anger, as we really get distracted from the wealth of information by listening to people regurgitate the same information listed on the slides.  If I wanted to read the information I would buy the book or check the journal , why should I pay big bucks to attend the conference? thus I feel that the person who is going to submit a paper in a conference, he or she should also provide a video of him or her presenting. at least that way the conference organizer can make sure that the speaker will be well listened to instead of he or she listens to the snoring of those that just had lunch and fell asleep on their seats due to the boring way they presented their case.

Another thing I have always dreamt of doing, is to have a person who will provide a finale to the conference, and rather than just mentioning the various topics that were discussed, the person would make a stand up comedy of the people who presented and make the attendees laugh it out.  For example if a person walks and talks with the hands crossed at the back, then he does the same but tries to fall off the stage or say the same information in a backward way. Alternatively one would have a funny presentations with mixed data of the whole conference and then show the presenters pitfalls on a video and the faces of the presenters drawn comically. I think this will be like a mini candid camera, where everybody leaves the conference with a warm and fuzzy feeling, and will still remember what was said there.  I am sure you are like me, take plenty of notes, and come back home, type them up, save them on your laptop (or blog them which is what I normally do) then forget all about it. This finale that I am suggesting will make people register more for the conference, and there will be more sales. 

Oh, on a final note, I must tell you what happened today, something strange really, but knowing me, I replied to the email. An organization wants to do a conference in Qatar, so they sent me an email asking me to check their agenda to see if they had covered everything that needs to be covered on the subject. My first reaction was to ask them if they were going to pay me if I suggested more things, and then I thought that I will reply and consider it as part of my CSR to the people of Qatar. read what I told them after you finish reading their agenda:

Key topic to be discussed at Finance & Investment Qatar include:
  • Investment opportunities within Qatar from a global perspective – how do international investors perceive Qatar and where do they see opportunities?
  • Bonds vs. loans vs. sukuk – different instruments to target different pools of liquidity 
  • Creating a world class and sustainable transport network ahead of World Cup 2022 and beyond
  • Finance and investment solutions for Qatar’s real estate market: What are the options and where is the value?
  • What challenges are Qatar’s private sector and non-government companies facing to raise capital?
  • Qatar’s plans for developing the Tourism industry as a means of economic diversification
  • Financing Qatar’s energy requirements – meeting the power generation and capacity requirements of a growing population and economy
  • Creating a sustainable oil and gas industry – what needs to be invested into the sector to make Qatar an R&D hub?
My reply:
To begin with, if I want to attend a finance and investment conference, I will do it for networking opportunity to talk to investors and find if one or a few of them are interested in investing, also to know their terms
The second thing is on why bank lending is so expensive
Who is allowing the banks to charge exorbitant interest rates, what is the role of central banks
Why the banks are not user friendly
Why do banks charge a lot charges and without telling the clients
What is the CSR for the banks, and how are they dispersing the funds?
Are the banks investing in future of human capital? Are they training the students from the schools? are they doing what they can to help elevate the financial crisis
How to prevent sub-primes from happening again
Why are banks screwing people?
You asked the wrong person for an opinion, as I have issues against the financial sector and its sole responsibility in ruining the world. However if you need more let me know.
On a more positive note, I think Qatar is a big deal, and we can do a lot to help that country in having the best 2022, we can all support them in doing that.

Of course I do not think that this organization is going to talk to me again. I assure you though, that the presenters are going to be real sticks and if they adopt my stand up comedy suggestion, then it is going to be a hell of a conference, and if there is a competition on the best conferences in the world, this one will take the prize.

I am too sleepy, so please excuse me if I said a bit too much. good night everyone.