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Why Go to Conferences?

Why Go to Conferences?

| On 18, Apr 2008

Ellen Domb

TRIZCON 2008 concluded on Wednesday, April 16 with Jack Hipple’s seminar on How to Use TRIZ with All the Other Innovation Tools and Assessments You Are Using and my presentation of “Contemporary Su-Field Analysis”  which was developed by Iouri Belski and Len Kaplan.  Some of the participants had started on Saturday, with the pre-conference tutorials, so they had a full week of learning, and many of them were also presenters in the technical sessions.   Picture:   Jack Hipple making a point about right brain/left brain creativity.  [IMG height=346 alt=”” src=”” width=317 border=0]

Why do this?  Why spend time (participants came from Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia, Israel, UK, Germany, Mexico, and the US, and probably places I have missed)  to travel, inconveniences of travel, money, and the value of the work you could have done if you had stayed home?   Why not just buy the proceedings?   Or wait until the authors publish the articles someplace else?   The TRIZ Journal made agreements with many of the associations to publish no more than 2 articles each month, so that people would not have the excuse that they could get all the articles and skip the meetings.  With all the blogs and other sources these days, a diligent student could probably get copies of most of the papers very quickly.  

So, why go to the meetings?  

The benefit of putting people together is the unstructured communication.   Lunch, coffee, between sessions, and even in the tutorial sessions, where people talk about their experiences.   Success stories are easy–that’s what most of the presentations are about.  Failure stories are much harder–what company will give permission to talk about failure?   What consultant will stand up in public and says “here’s something that doesn’t work”?  But the failure stories, told face-to-face, are very significant learning opportunities.   And once people have gotten acquainted, developed some trust,  and learned each other’s histories of success and failure, then all the on-line communications can be effective.

Start planning now. The Japan, China, Iberoamerican and ETRIA meetings are coming in September, October, and November.  See you there?