Do you prefer small seminars or big conferences?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by JennaLeighWeddings, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. JennaLeighWeddings

    JennaLeighWeddings TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I've been to quite a few classes, seminars, etc. and I wanted to know what people thought.

    Do you get more out of smaller seminars with fewer people, or bigger ones with more?

    And then follow-up to that, is it worth paying more money to have a smaller, more intimate seminar, or no?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends.

    Really. It depends.

    It depends on the nature of the audience, the "quality" of the presenter, and a million other factors. I've been to good & bad seminars both large and small.
     
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  3. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Neither.
    I usually arranged for 1 on 1 when I wanted someone else to coach me.
    Often it was a reciprocal arrangement with me coaching the other from my knowledge/experience and no money changed hands.
     
  4. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    From my experience, the larger the class the more the spread of the level of the presentation and thus the less likely to interest me.
     
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  5. JennaLeighWeddings

    JennaLeighWeddings TPF Noob!

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    I can see pluses and minuses from both though. A smaller conference/seminar will have more in-depth training probably, however with a focus on the details you may lose sight of the bigger picture. I definitely can see the reverse from a larger conference. Has anyone been to WPPI? I haven't been there yet, but wondering how it feels to be part of such a big event.
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It depends on if I'm trying learn something or just socialize.
     
  7. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've been to both and like both. If it's good that is, if not I just don't come back after lunch! lol well, if it wasn't work related and I didn't have to... but really, I only had it happen a couple of times that something was that bad! Either way it just depends on what it is and who's sponsoring it and who's teaching/presenting, etc.

    If there was something specific that I wanted to learn more in-depth, a smaller class/workshop was beneficial. I took craft workshops for grad credit at a local university and those were intense and long days/evenings and exhausting - but I really learned the techniques and history and methods etc. and it has stayed with me several years later - so was well worth it.

    Isn't WPPI a trade fair? or am I thinking of something else? Even if it is maybe there are workshops offered. At large conferences usually there's a vendor area which can be fun to browse. I think it's a matter of looking up the presenters of anything you're considering and see if it seems like something that would interest you. I'd think mostly the presenters would be pretty good or they wouldn't keep getting asked to present at workshops, etc.
     
  8. TheLibrarian

    TheLibrarian TPF Noob!

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    I prefer smaller classes where I can get some individual attention. I'm sure most would. Rather than be in a seat in a large auditorium. You can watch stuff online if thats the case. Maybe a larger multiday thing where you hope to network and learn from your peers might be interesting but for my money I want more. For $200 a day, 1. in Hawaii I'd rather spend that on a banana boat ride and parasailing or 2. I'd expect to learn more from 3-4 months of a community college class for the same price.
     
  9. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I always find it easier presenting to smaller groups, big seminars can get a little daunting.
    The amount you get out such events depends more on the people you meet than the actual size of them. If the right people are there small groups are preferable, but I guess there's more chance of having the right people present if more people are there...
     
  10. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Doesn't matter if it is big or small to me. It is the quality of the instructor(s) and the subject that matters. I would have sat with 1000 other people to learn from Monte Zucker, Don Giannatti, Bobbi Lane, or David Wells.
     
  11. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Staff Member

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    I'll come at this from the other perspective.

    I have presented in front of 10 - 500+ people (non photography) and I always prefer a smaller venue because I can get through my material and usually have more than enough time to engage the room.
    With larger venues it becomes more of a stand and deliver type of presentation because people are afraid to look foolish in front of a large crowd.

    The second aspect is that in a smaller venue it seems more personal and this can in turn get more engagement from the audience. Larger venues I feel the mood is too detached so people tend to drift off and you really don't get peoples full attention.
     
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