Conference season is upon us, specifically for higher ed web nerds. I always enjoy this time of year, but it’s difficult when you go and have fantastic conversations with old (and new) friends only to come home and feel a bit defeated. I was talking to Scott Kubie at HighEdWeb Michigan and he made the comment about how conferences are better when a coworker can come, because the big ideas you get are that much sweeter when you can divide and conquer the event; or where major breakthroughs are experienced at the same time.
I agree majorly.
When a lot of people aren’t super aware of what kind of work I do online, it’s sometimes easy to gloss over the meatier parts of what gets covered at a conference for simply saying “it went well” and “it was good,” and not fleshing out the process or even that the conferences are intensive, chock full of information and go all day long.
While it can difficult to integrate everything you learn — especially at once — it’s no less important for us to come home and try to adopt at least one of the things we learn as soon as possible. Even if it’s telling people, “I learned a new thing I’m excited to try because…” it emphasizes the experience changed our perspectives and does more than just demonstrate the best parts of what conferences are about — people.