I just returned from a national conference with a program as thick as a phone book. At any given time, there might have been up to 50 concurrent workshops being offered. How do you decide which workshop to attend? You guessed it – by reading the clever workshop title and the well crafted description promising an action-packed hour long session. I’m sure that I’m not the first to notice that some workshop titles are far more clever than the actual workshop itself. But it seems to be a growing problem, and the people who attend these promise-filled sessions are growing more and more leery about devoting an hour to something that might not pan out. I’m seeing more people sit in what I call “fast get-away” seats at the ends of isles or in the back of the room… just in case. Even worse, I’m seeing a growing number of people who just pack up their stuff and walk out in the middle of the workshop (much to the horror of the presenter). Why were people leaving? The workshop title and description was better than the actual workshop.
Okay, so what’s my point? This just serves as a gentle reminder to all of us who speak at conferences: Let’s make sure what we present in our workshops exceeds the promises we make in the program description.