I am up in Wisconsin this week, spent the last 3 days attending a conference. I usually attend conferences that are well attended but not too huge, 50-100 attendees maybe, and the topics are fairly narrow and specific. Something struck me during this particular conference though; many good ideas were discussed, many problems were analyzed and solutions suggested yet…no one wrote anything down. Nothing, not even a memo, nada. How are these good ideas captured? Does this happen often? Talking to another attendee this morning he agreed, the conference ended on Sunday and today he barely remembered half of the things that were discussed. At his suggestion I wrote an executive summary of everything I could remember and send it out to as many attendees as I knew. I did this about 3 hours ago, already have received 3 thank you emails back.
My point is that meetings and conferences can be meaningless if we don’t capture the discussions. Its not about the powerpoint presentation, at least its not all about that, its about capturing those side conversations and brainstorming sessions, sometimes informal, that can yield the best dividends for you. As I attend yet another conference in Wisconsin this week and another one in Kansas next week I will definitely make this a common practice.What do you think?