Friday 5 August 2011

Conferencing ourselves for cash

Just about everyday I, like many colleagues, receive invites to all sorts of conferences, summits and the like. And gradually its starting to annoy me that most involve people who are essentially within the public sector or work next door to the venue.

This one I use by way of example: Transformation in the Police - Driving Change, Collaboration and Shared Services

The people in it are very good people, I know many of them. They have made massive contributions to policing.

Yet in order to "keep up with the Joneses" it is suggested that I pay £400 plus travel, (which for London means overnight from here) to listen to them.
The venue, of course is London, and no doubt a nice place with excellent buffet lunch.

BUT we already have our own venues at Ryton and Bramshill that, whilst challenging to get to, are already being funded. Instead we invite Capita or some other organiser to put this together to make it work.

I like listening to some of the people on the agenda, but can we anymore justify attending at such an exorbitant rate.

And why can’t we provide it via video link. Last year I chaired and delivered at a conference in Vancouver from my desk in Penrith. We have the technology to do this.

As a responsible public sector that is in the media for all sorts of things its about time we started to think laterally about these events and started to push the digital boundary.

Please don’t take this as a criticism of Capita or any of those speaking. They are all good people. However, as the 5th invite in 2 days, it’s the final straw.

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