Saturday, January 7, 2012

Getting the most out of conferences-without actually attending them!

Today, I was scheduled to attend a conference at Ahmedabad Management Association(just down the road from IIM-A), but some pressing commitments came in the way. However, I still wanted to learn about the topics in question. So I merely Googled the titles of the speaker sessions, and to my surprise, hundreds of search results(some very relevant) popped out from the wordwork. Now, I'm sure that reading on my own would take more time than attending the session. But for a birds eye view of the content, one just needs to know the search strings, and the program agenda provides this. For new areas(new to you), this method of learning could be especially useful, as it helps one focus on the relevant and somewhat controversial areas(if NOT controversial then usually no conference would feature that!).

Other ways to learn from conferences without attending them are
  1. Request/Purchase/Download the presentation material/handouts:-This is often sold at a nominal price on CD/bound value(as done for AMA sessions) or uploaded freely on the website as done for WIRC-ICAI. 
  2. Ask a friend/attendee to take notes and share them:-This is another mutually beneficial way. The person taking notes retains them in memory for a longer time, while the person with whom it is shared(in this case YOU!) gets the flavour of the session.