Re: Conferences and seminars

Subject: Re: Conferences and seminars
From: "Parks, Beverly L." <parksb -at- HUACHUCA-EMH7 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 08:15:00 MST

Kim Keegan[SMTP:keegan -at- EXPLORERS -dot- COM] wrote:
>> has asked us to submit requests to attend 1 class/seminar
every six months. ... Of course, I would really rather save up my "one
every six months" and attend the Annual STC Conference in Toronto, but
that's not 'til next spring. ... How to sell to your manager the idea of
the company spending lots of money and you being away from the office for
so long ...

One way to convince your manager is to approach it from the standpoint of
return on investment. IMO, one-day seminars are the biggest waste of
training funds going. Unless the topic of the session is very focused
(i.e., indexing is focused; indexing using a specific tool is very
focused; desktop publishing is not focused), the one-day sessions usually
try to cram so much information into what amounts to six hours, that no
one has a chance to learn anything or even the opportunity to ask
questions if they don't understand something. One-day seminars are a
refreshing break from the office routine at company expense. (That's not
necessarily a bad thing.)

Conferences are slightly better. Sure, they're longer. Usually a week.
But the sessions are normally 2-4 hours long--even shorter than one-day
seminars! However, you attend multiple sessions during that week and the
sessions are usually all related to a central theme. Because of that
there is some sense of continuity to what you are learning. It's more
akin to a disorganized one-week class than to a week-long series of
unrelated one-day seminars.

A three-day training class on a specific topic is the minimum required to
approach maximum ROI, IMO. Then, of course, there is still the chance of
ZERO return if you don't USE what you've learned back at the job within a
short time after the training.

Must be Friday! 8-)

Bev Parks
parksb -at- huachuca-emh7 -dot- army -dot- mil

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