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Too Many Sessions
Kathy Brown    

I attend a lot of conferences. Unlike many of the speakers I see and meet at these conferences, I have been attending conferences longer than I've been speaking at them. For some reason, it seems lately that a considerable number of speakers and organizers feel that some speakers get "too many sessions". They think speakers should be limited to a set number of sessions, or even particular conferences. NOTE: I don't mean me, I've never submitted more than two abstracts to a given conference.

What I find odd is that those comments are coming from fellow speakers and conference organizers, NOT from attendees, at least as far as I know.

Remember, I am a newbie speaker, I've been an attendee far longer than I've been speaking. As an attendee, I have attended a lot of sessions. Some of those sessions were presented by awful speakers and some of those sessions were presented by brilliant speakers. There is nothing worse than sitting through an hour (or more) of a terrible speaker. So, as an attendee, you begin to seek out good speakers. If I had a choice between two sessions with content that interested me, one given by a speaker known to me (as good) and the other by a speaker not known to me (or known as bad), I AM PICKING THE SPEAKER I KNOW AND LIKE. I don't mean that I know the speaker, like I am friends with them. I strictly mean, know, as in attended one of their sessions. Remember, I am writing as an attendee here.

Take it one step further. I will evaluate the merits of a conference on whether or not I see names I know. This isn't to say I won't go to a conference if I don't know the speakers, but certainly, if one or two of my "favorites" will be there, I am more likely to go.

It seems to me that certain individuals (also speakers) are the "tail wagging the dog" complaining that others get too many sessions. For some reason, organizers are listening to those complaints. Ultimately, I think that just punishes attendees. Good speakers with consistently good evaluations who continue to submit quality abstracts shouldn't be limited. Period.

Dec 19, 2010
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Recent Blog Posts

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