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Dale Holub reports: <<... a couple of my co-workers are attending a
software seminar/conference in the very near future. They have asked
me to provide them with some questions that they can follow while at
the seminar, so that when they get back here, I can write up a nice
presentation to provide to others within our company.>>
The approach you suggested is probably backwards, since it starts
with you and your colleagues, not the people who will benefit from
their attendance at the conference. First, you need to find out why
your company is sending them to the seminar. If the company has
specific goals for this trip, those goals provide the primary
questions you need to ask: they must bring back enough information to
meet those goals.
On the other hand, if they are only being sent as a reward (i.e.,
time away from work and training not specifically related to company
needs), then you should be asking other members of your company whose
work is affected by your colleagues to explain what goals they have.
As a result, your colleagues can try to meet those specific goals.
Doing so makes it much more likely that they will be allowed to
attend future conferences because you can show clear payback from
<<As the company's Technical Trainer, they feel I should be able to
provide them with these questions prior to them attending the
conference. I am having a mental block on what questions I can
provide to them.>>
If neither of the above options is possible, then you have to rely on
your own perception of your company's training needs. Prioritize
those needs, and ask your colleagues to return with information on
the top three needs -- or for each colleague to pick two or three of
the top needs you identified, focusing on needs that most closely
match their interests and responsibilities.
-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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