I am not a big fan of the Marketing conference. Especially the two-dayer. I don’t mind the sessions themselves. Well, I usually don’t mind the opening session – that’s often quite good. But it generally goes downhill after that. By the time it gets to the panel “discussion” that seems to be entirely made up of uncomfortable looking sponsors, I am ready for a drink. But its only 3pm and there is still a painfully awkward “workshop” to attend and a whole series of “break-out” rooms to navigate. But actually, I don’t mind the sessions themselves as much as I despise the bits in between. The standing around bits. I know that these are meant to be great networking opportunities, but it’s all so forced and unnatural. Besides everyone is sober. You end up with a room full of people glued to their phones talking to people back in the office. I am all for Marketing training and development, after all, we run sessions at Big M. But we tailor our sessions to everyone in the room with much smaller groups so we can have a proper discussion. I think the days of the never ending Marketing conference with their vacuous panel discussions are over. Hope so anyway.