Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

Stop going to boring conferences

On Wednesday we tried an experiment and ran a one-day conference that condensed and summarised a whole lot of ideas from the Elephant HR advisors conferences in London, Wellington and Auckland.

As always the feedback from those attending said that the presentations were really interesting, practical and useful, they had great discussions, the presenters were inspiring and the conference was wonderful.

To me this doesn’t seem very hard to achieve.

And then I read one comment that said:

Very good conference, I have heard horror stories about how boring HR conferences can be. Yesterday proved me wrong and it was good hear from different speakers and also a summary from Angela that the previous speakers had presented.

I hear similar feedback all the time. People tell me again and again how many HR related conferences that they go to which are incredibly boring. There might be an interesting presenter hidden in amongst the dullness, but overall it’s a huge yawn.

Here are just a couple of social media posts recently that I’ve seen about exactly this.



So my messages is simple:


You are just enabling those conference organisers to continue with badly designed, dull and awful conferences because you all keep going to them!

Now I could ask conference organisers to stop running boring conferences but despite them copying what we do, they still don’t seem to be able to put it together in an engaging way.

Instead look for conferences like Elephant’s, where people are saying awesome things about what they took from the conference, where you can see discussion time built in, where the topics aren’t corporate nonsense that sounds strategic and serious but are actually meaningless. Where the presenters actually know how to present, and the forward thinking, innovative people in the industry are attending.

I’m really excited about the 4 conferences that we are running in February and March next year. If you want to see what an interactive, exciting conference looks like rather than paying to be bored senseless for two days, why not book?


Of course, this was actually supposed to be a post about my key learnings from the conference on Wednesday (which I will write up next week) however instead I have felt compelled to make a call to #BanBoringConferences.

To do that, use your consumer power and stop going to boring conferences and come to an Elephant conference instead.

Have a wonderful Friday!


Angela Atkins is the People and Learning Director for Elephant Group in NZ and the UK – and also developed the Management Bites training programme. She is best-selling author of the bites series of books and is passionate about helping people professionals and managers create better businesses. She splits her time between NZ, the UK, Hawaii and California.


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This entry was posted on October 26, 2017 by in human resources, Learning and Development and tagged , , .
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