The other day I had to attend a conference of sorts. It’s not a regular feature of my job but it happens once in a while. In normal times ‘attending’ would have meant driving or travelling by train for an hour or so, rolling up at a venue, enjoying some free coffee (and hopefully a pastry or two) and later in the day enjoying a free lunch. And more coffee. In between refreshments there would have been a lot of listening to people speaking and possibly some smaller workshops to attend.
I would probably have found the non-refreshment bits dull, but no doubt would have hooked up with some other irreverent delegates early on and have spent much of the day making snide comments about the various speakers while being careful not to be overheard by anyone ‘important’ and making sure that I understood enough of the ‘key messages’ so that I could sound well-informed if I got lumbered with having to join a group discussion.
As things stood, there were no free refreshments and indeed no similarly disdainful delegates (at least not in the same room as me) because I had to attend this conference ‘virtually’. As this had originally been planned as a ‘face-to-face’ experience, the updated agenda had failed to omit the ‘refreshment breaks’ so to add insult to injury the free coffee was advertised but not provided.
Much of the agenda still required some level of participation, and some live sessions where there was an expectation of switching on both microphone and camera so people could see and hear that I was present, but others involved sitting and listening with both microphone and camera switched off, so theoretically I could have just logged in and then gone away and done something completely different. Of course I would never do that and there are no witnesses who can prove otherwise.
The keynote speaker, however, went one better, pre-recorded his speech and uploaded it to YouTube. Now I’m not saying that it was a boring speech, because this man is my boss’s boss’s boss (or quite possibly my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss) and while there is literally no chance he would ever condescend to read my little blog, it wouldn’t be prudent, even on this little-read forum, to declare that he is a boring man. But I think that even he would agree that the most inspiring key note speech is still going to have to be pretty fantastic to beat some of the other offerings that appear in the suggestions alongside the video on YouTube.
Some examples of which were:
- 10 Amazing Action Scenes From Terrible Movies
- The Real Voice Of Darth Vader….Hilarious!
- 20 Things You Somehow Missed In The Matrix
- The Darkest TV Finales In History
- 10 Horror Movie Fates Worse Than Death
- 10 British Cover Songs That Are Better Than The Original
The list could go on. I’m definitely not admitting that I clicked on any of those links rather than listening to the Keynote Speech.
Of course I listened to the Keynote Speech.
But if I hadn’t, I’m not sure how anyone would know…