As a professional in health and care you can attend many conferences, seminars and events. Is it still worth going there? How do you know if the event is really interesting for you? How will you get maximum information while being there? These questions probably come up when you open your mailbox and find one of these nice invitations.
This is how I decide for ‘go’ or ‘no go’. How do you make your choice? And can you recommend your top health innovation events? Please share with me!
Here are 4 considerations I make (as a participant) to go or no go:
1. Does the event has a clear objective?
I really like joining events whith a clear purpose. Is it about exchanging ideas with the sector, learning from interesting speakers and visionaries, making a plea, awarding a prize or receiving promotion? Each of the objectives is valid-but it must be clear. I like clear subjects and intentions of the organisors, so you at least know where you are going. As a participant, my main objective is to learn from speakers and meet other people (and learn from them too).
2. Speakers list variation
Give me a list of speakers that is as varied as possible. Variation in competencies, experiences, sex, sub-sector and most important in point of views are attractive. We all have the tendency to pay attention and feel attracted to visions that support our own, but hearing counterarguments is very interesting. A conference that succeeds in bringing the whole range of arguments on a specific topic- white, black and all grey that’s in between-wins.
Variation also means diversity in style: a theoretical in-depth analysis alongside a storytelling tedtalk. Moreover, plenary sessions are not the only interesting form. One of my favourite seminars since years was a workshop-type of event with rotating speakers to small groups of attendees.
3. Is the audience sufficiently varied?
Can people with very different backgrounds and roles be expected in the room? Will people out of the whole health ecosystem be there? Then it’s all right. See also the above considerations.
4. Can I speak to enough people within a reasonable time?
Ha! the network idea! Will there be enough net time left before, in between or after the extremely interesting substantive programme to speak to the other people in the room? Maybe to make a joke with them, or to drink a glass together? In any case: to briefly give each other a ‘touch point’?
The good old network idea remains very important and not everyone feels comfortable talking to a stranger. Small ‘nudges’ can help here. At least, the set-up of the event should leave enough time and space to talk to each other. Nothing beats personal contact, right?
I’m curious: how do you make your choice? And which health events are top for you?