A conference call … tell us something we don’t know please!

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For some years now there has been the rise in so-called industry conferences. These conferences are supposed to help industries prosper and evolve for the coming years.

So why, then, do they, often, churn out what looks like academic white papers ahead of the conference circus?

Let’s start by looking at what really comes out of the circus. Industry people site around a ring of entertainers, sorry industry experts, who make them laugh, applaud, say WOW and Ooooo. Furthermore, these people give the audience exactly what they want to hear based on industry research already available to everyone in the audience.

Then comes the after-party of the circus. Back-slapping takes place and everyone loves the clowns.
However, who has the real laugh – yep, the clowns!
The clowns pocket huge sums of money for entertaining the audience and go home in hysterics.
Is there a solution? Sure there is. However, it could be very painful for the normal audiences.
The solution is, instead of pretending a conference is a working day, which it often isn’t.
There should a minimum of 10 days a year set aside for Back To The Floor Days. So, what should these days consist of and what would be the benefit to the business?


  1. They would be much more cost effective than paying a clown to entertain you
  2. Five days would be working as a junior person assisting in the various departments of the company – that would be an eye opener.
  3. A further five days would mean leaving the ivory tower and mixing with normal people who have to live with the service provided.


It could easily be argued the most important of the above is item three. The key here is not to try and justify you position on everything. The prime objective is to listen to the users of your product/service. Equally, don’t just listen  but actually hear what they are saying – the future of your company may depend on this.

Section 2 can show you where your decisions help or hinder those in your charge. It can also be a great moral booster when a grass roots team player explains how to improve your company. Sometimes this can also expose middle managers who are great at pushing papers around and yet are not capable of actually servicing the needs of the team correctly.

Section 1. It’s your business why would you want a clown running your business? So why do you fall in the trap of letting a clown influence you. YOU are the person who should be hosting conferences for your own team.

Don’t listen to the fake news messages of those that can’t – listen and hear those that can do!

Eric Wiltsher

Eric is a former BBC TV, radio & online journalist. Now lives in Slovakia and is MD of a digital media company

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