The Zen of Annual Meeting Attendance and Conferencing
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 8 No. 3 (2007): Vol-8-Issue-3-March-2007
I have attended and been involved in dozens of annual meetings and conferences across the United
States over the past decade. My experiences at these events, I am certain, are likely to be very similar
to those of most readers. At these conferences the basic format involves a large number of people
coming together to presumably learn something new, to interact with colleagues, to network and meet
new colleagues within the context of bringing what is learned back ones institution.
In my view many annual conferences/meetings allow one to accomplish these objectives albeit much
less perfectly than they could and certainly not in proportion to the time, resources and effort it often
takes to travel to these meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I continue to attend because there is enough
value in them for me and especially meeting colleagues. I just believe at this point that they could be
significantly enhanced and could be more impactful as a result. So my purpose in writing this essay is
to suggest ways that conference organizers and individual academic leaders who attend can improve
the relevance of these meetings as important events in our professional lives.