Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do we go to conferences for comfort or to learn?

Tossing up going to an annual conference for financial services marketers, particularly those involved in superannuation. This deliberation is taking place after spending some of yesterday afternoon with a PR consultant.

I always come away from these meetings with a warm fuzzy feeling. In the case of the conferences, it could be a mild temperature accompanied by giddiness and loss of orientation which seems to follow the regular awards night. But nonetheless, buried under the after-effects of the leisure hours, I think there's more to it.

I never learn a lot at these things, so it's not that. Most of the time, I just sit in the audience spying on what others have achieved or are thinking of achieving - undeterred by the fact that this professional voyeurism could morph into some type of intellectual and/or creative plagiarism.

No. I think the warm fuzziness comes from being surrounded by others who think like me or, in that unlikely event, at least pretend to comprehend what I'm on about - brand at the apex of strategic planning, communicating in plain language, the list goes on.

These events are an escape from the blank stares of lawyers, technocrats, auditors, actuaries and others who just don't get this idea about brands defining businesses. This gaggle of overseers who dissect then reassemble communications so the arse is often where the head should be.

Yes, I think putting this in writing has confirmed for me that these talkfests are not about learning, but about comfort. They're about reaffirmation that the loonies really are in charge of the nuthouse everywhere except in the marketing and communications space.

Where's that registration form? I'm on my way to therapy...

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