How about that for a sweeping statement? So let's put it to the test .
YOU NEED TO DO THIS AS YOU READ IT - if you are at your desk
1. Open your drawer, look on your shelf, where ever you keep your notes
2. Take out 3 sets of conference or workshop notes and look at them
3. Remember all those great ideas, thoughts and inspirations which you had on those days?
4. Now try to think what you were going to do with them
5. Put the notes back into the drawer and carry on with your day.
That pretty sums up most of what happens with conferences and workshop notes. No follow up, no real intent. So all it was, was a day out, some entertainment, a nice lunch, and a chat with some friends. I used to watch football for all that (a few questions over the nice lunch and entertainment perhaps), not spend valuable time, which if you are not productively working, could be out doing something which brings you great joy instead.
What is missing is a pre-planned call to action. We return to work, full of vibrancy and enthusiasm, then walk into the fall out from daring to be away for a day. The world has all but stopped turning, no-one has any initiative or thoughts of their own without you, common sense seems to have had the day off as well. So there you go, within 10 minutes, the enthusiasm has gone, and you are straight back to thumping your head on the desk.
So how would it be, if when you book an event to attend, the first thing after accepting the invite, was to allocate time in your diary for the follow up - the digestion of the notes, and to plan a further review in a few weeks. That could be one of the most important appointments which you make with yourself.
Now, there is intent, a desire to work on what you have heard and learned. With follow up planned, there is a very real chance that something will come of it. Even better, is to connect with another delegate on the day, email them, and stay in regular contact as you encourage each other.
Then the event will be worth while, then it is meaningful, then it has intent. Then, it is far more than just a day of entertainment.
Maybe, as you are reading this, now is a good time to schedule a space in the diary? Go on, I dare you, allocate some real time to move forward with all those great ideas in those three books which you have been hiding away like a naughty secret. Release the ideas, change, improve and move forwards.
Or, next time, just save the day to go and watch football!