Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is your Blackberry costing you too much money?

I am attending the Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference in Chicago. I've noticed a few striking changes in the audiences attending events.

Attendees (and many exhibitors) are so busy scrolling through messages on their PDAs and returning cell phone calls or reading text messages, they've stopped talking to people. And they've also, in some cases, stopped listening to speakers. Many of the audience member are terribly distracted, and the same held true in the exhibitor center.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do feel that one of the benefits of attending a conference is to schmooze, network, and otherwise meet people and learn about new products. If we're so preoccupied with what's going on back at the office, I'm not sure attendance benefits anyone.

Next time you send your personnel to a conference, suggest they take a break and enjoy the show. One thing I've learned the hard way, whether I'm answering my phone and reading e-mails 24/7 or not, the world spins on without me.

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