INT. JALEO RESTAURANT - NIGHT
A group of friends have gathered for a special meal during a conference.
They have enjoyed an evening of great food and wine. In the midst of the conversation, one sends them down a new rabbit hole.
What conferences can you attend to be challenged?
Blank stares fill the faces of diners as they look for answers they can not find.
FADE TO BLACK
This scene occurred a few nights ago and I've been noodling over it ever since.
Conferences have to continue to present the basics. There are always new people coming into every field and they are the low hanging fruit who register to attend so there must always be talks focused on those areas.
But, once you've learned the basics some conferences have to fall off because while some offer intermediate level talks, few fully take it to the next level.
The easiest answer I've come up with is that you have to go outside of your industry to be challenged.
A conference about real estate, social media or whatever vertical you do business in is only going to challenge you for so long. As you become seasoned, it is natural that you'll outgrow them.
Yet, the list of general, non industry conferences that I know about which are worth attending is a short one. Events such as SXSW, World Domination Summit , OTA Sessions and TED come to mind, but there must be others.
As we finished up dinner and talked more, it became apparent the great opportunity to create these events.
Gatherings that would challenge and educate the attendees by covering topics beyond the basics. Deep dives into a specific topic, honest case studies and a variety of sessions. This would mean bending some of the "rules" of events, having different length sessions, paid speakers and perhaps a non traditional venue.
Have you attended an event recently that challenged you? Know of one on the horizon that we should keep an eye on?
Definitely share them in the comments.