It’s Conference Season! How to avoid the worst of conferences

Its that time of year again!  Time to pack our bags, brush up our papers, remember how to work powerpoint remotely and steel ourselves for mass produced sandwiches in ecologically friendly cardboard boxes.  Yes, the joys of the conference and all it entails.

i’m really looking forward to conferences that don’t build on their content, aren’t a mix of practical and theoretical, are technologically unreliable, are unrigorous, provide a platform for the wrong kind of speakers, aren’t chaired well, don’t offer chances for dialogue, have the same old same old people on the panels and  provide too many spaces for axe grinding: and particularly those educational conferences which have little in the way of artistry and preach the educational message in an utterly non-educational manner.  Conferences with a pay-bar on the opening night are also low on the list.

But hope springs eternal and i’m looking forward to a better experience of meeting old colleagues, making new friends and confering – the whole point of the conference experience of course.  As Mohammed Arif said at our first All Our Futures conference, I came to England alone; and leave the conference with new friends’. So here’s to new friends, new ideas, new challenges and with any luck, new solutions to feeding the conference frenzied masses.

If you’re at BERA at the Institute of Education, London next week, the Transformative Difference Conference at Liverpool Hope University the week after, the PASCO Conference in Belgrade next month or the ISBE (Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurialship) Conference the month after, please feel free to come and strike up a conversation.  Who knows, we might have some ideas on what constitutes the best of conferences!

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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