If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The New York Times)   NYTimes lets the lesser classes in on a secret that the business and education elite have known for years: "Professional conferences" are just employer-sponsored vacations. Back to that stamping machine, Citizen   (travel.nytimes.com) divider line 65
    More: Obvious, professional conference, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Club Med, fellow passengers, Amy Chua, yoga class, Ehud Barak, music venue  
•       •       •

1268 clicks; posted to Business » on 08 Apr 2013 at 10:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



65 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-04-08 09:56:59 AM
The lesser classes don't read the NYTimes, subby.
 
2013-04-08 09:57:37 AM
TIL all those meetings in Las Vegas make me an "elite."
 
2013-04-08 10:10:10 AM
Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City.
 
2013-04-08 10:11:47 AM
It's almost like the people who put on professional conferences want to deliberately host them in areas that will make people want to come.
 
2013-04-08 10:39:55 AM
I heard of a scientific conference that was banned from Vegas because none of the scientists would gamble.
 
2013-04-08 10:45:57 AM

Pocket Ninja: It's almost like the people who put on professional conferences want to deliberately host them in areas that will make people want to come.


Not in my line of work or my wife's - the events targeted at her are usually either in Dallas in July or Minneapolis in January. I've been invited to conferences in Atlanta in August and Detroit in February. Fark that.

Just once we'd like a Manhattan in October conference.
 
2013-04-08 10:55:43 AM
The place my company has me at now just got back from a "conference" in Orlando. They all seem very tan. My company has invited me to corporate events at our headquarters.........in Atlanta. Never been to one in person. Last time I was in Atlanta a friend got stabbed and I wasent having fun before that.
 
2013-04-08 10:58:35 AM

groppet: Last time I was in Atlanta a friend got stabbed and I wasent having fun before that.


My bad.

www.gannett-cdn.com
 
2013-04-08 11:01:23 AM
I go to a user conference in Phoenix every year at the end of March/early April that is put on by our ERP vendor. They put us up in a resort at the base of Camelback Mountain, feed us awesome food for three days, have open bar cocktail parties in the evening, bring in entertainment, schedule off-resort activities, etc. The only downside is sitting thru the meetings in the mornings after breakfast. They schedule break out sessions to focus on specific products or industry tracks in the afternoon, and most people skip those and go hang out at the pool.

This year it was great. When I left Nebraska it was 19 degrees and snowing. When I got to AZ, it was a comfy 78 degrees. I think I only spent 8 hours of the whole trip listening to the presentations at the conference. The rest of the time I spent running around Phoenix, or relaxing in the sun and reading. I even went on a guided tour of Taliesin West, which was Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home.

Airfare, car rental, hotel fees, all other expenses were paid for by my employer. They even gave me $500 cash to take with me before I left so I wouldn't have to spend any of my own money. When I got back, they didn't even ask if I learned anything, just whether or not I had a good time. I love my job.
 
2013-04-08 11:01:27 AM
The most tax efficient man in America already told me that, subby.
 
2013-04-08 11:11:12 AM
It's not a "vacation" if I have to go, don't get a choice of times to go, and have to deal with work shiat while I'm there.

/And I don't give a fark if it IS in Vegas.  If I don't have time I DON'T HAVE TIME!
//Sorry, just venting there.
 
2013-04-08 11:12:59 AM
Paging captain obvious, paging captail obvious to the news desk please.

Follow-up article.

Many business "expenses" are not actualy spent for business purposes, but rather an elaborate method of being paid without paying taxes.  BRB, I need to take a client out to a fancy dinner.
 
2013-04-08 11:13:04 AM

Mentat: I heard of a scientific conference that was banned from Vegas because none of the scientists would gamble.


More likely none of the scientist when to any of the talks.
 
2013-04-08 11:37:43 AM

BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City.


My dad goes to conferences in places like Crystal City, VA, Guelph ON, and Midland, MI (and Scottsdale, AZ a few times).
My mom goes to corporate retreats in Vail (her boss's ski chalet there), Hawai'i and LA.

Dad is more of a midlevel grunt, mom is on the board (different companies).

Was this really a surprise to anyone? Don't we remember how pissed off we all were a year or two ago that the USGOV was sending people to Vegas for "leadership conferences" complete with a fully-stocked breakfast-muffin bar?
 
2013-04-08 11:37:51 AM
http://www.fark.com/comments/7687861/83485215#c83485215" target="_blank">PainInTheASP: It's not a "vacation" if I have to go, don't get a choice of times to go, and have to deal with work shiat while I'm there.

/And I don't give a fark if it IS in Vegas. If I don't have time I DON'T HAVE TIME!
//Sorry, just venting there.


Maybe not for you, but for your boss and the nerds who never leave your office it probably is.


I travel a lot for work and when I'm checking in the #1 thing I fear (aside from a high school cheerleader meet without chaperones) is seeing some random business conference at the hotel. The most annoying thing in the world to me is the 40-50 year old guys who must never get out running around like 5 year olds at Disney, drinking all night and disrupting my sleep.
 
2013-04-08 11:39:37 AM
Maybe if you are a 1%'r.

The working conferences that I go to are straight up work, usually 10hrs a day.
 
2013-04-08 11:53:25 AM
I heard of a scientific conference that was banned from Vegas because none of the scientists would gamble.

I was at the conference that got us banned along with several thousand other corrosion engineers.   We filled the Bally's hotel/casino and had spillover rooms in other nearby facilities.  The casino had the lowest week in its history that week and, after it was over, we were "politely" requested by the convention and visitors bureau to never schedule another conference in Vegas.

The sessions were all well attended because we work in a field where probabilities are a daily part of the job.   In our case, the phrase you can't beat the house is part of what we do for a living.   One of my colleagues, when checking in to the hotel, dropped a nickel in the slots on the way to the elevators, won a dollar and never gambled another cent as he said he wanted to go home a winner.   While that is an extreme example, very few of us lost more than $100 that week.
 
2013-04-08 12:00:55 PM

nocturnal001: Maybe not for you, but for your boss and the nerds who never leave your office it probably is.


I travel a lot for work and when I'm checking in the #1 thing I fear (aside from a high school cheerleader meet without chaperones) is seeing some random business conference at the hotel. The most annoying thing in the world to me is the 40-50 year old guys who must never get out running around like 5 year olds at Disney, drinking all night and disrupting my sleep.


Oh, I hear you.  I think a lot of attitudes would change if the people who do the complaining actually had to sit through some of the seminars that I do.  Four hours worth of "Managing Digital Assets" is enough to make anyone want to stab themselves in the eye.

And did you ever notice that every single one of those 40-50 year old guys smells like the hotel shampoo and lotion?  LOL.  Spend ten bucks at Walgreens, assholes.
 
2013-04-08 12:01:46 PM
Back to that stamping machine, Citizen

Or, back to serving that restaurant food, citizen, making that hotel bed, citizen, conducting that tour, citizen, performing in that show, citizen. Stuff that the elite pay for when they attend these things, and that employ a lot of people. Not to mention paying a ton of taxes to the locality where they meet. But maybe President Obama should come out as opposing these junkets. Oh wait, he did that a couple of times in his first term and got his ass handed to him by Democrats who run cities that collect a lot of dough from hosting these conferences. Oops.
 
2013-04-08 12:15:13 PM
PainInTheASP:
And did you ever notice that every single one of those 40-50 year old guys smells like the hotel shampoo and lotion? LOL. Spend ten bucks at Walgreens, assholes.

Why? The hotel soaps and such are usually better, they don't charge extra, and I don't have to spend a half hour trudging down to a convention-area store that charges more than normal. Not to mention you pretty much have to toss out the big bottle of shampoo before you leave because of the air travel silliness.
 
2013-04-08 12:18:45 PM

Mentat: I heard of a scientific conference that was banned from Vegas because none of the scientists would gamble.


CSB time:

I work in information security. We went to a big conference in Vegas and at one point I and a few of my hackery friends were playing blackjack. Some talkative dude sits down at the table and starts asking us what we do for a living.

We say "information security" or something similar.

"You boys are hackers? Like computer hackers? I bet y'all know how to count cards really well!"

The dealer freezes mid deal, and makes it clear we should probably go play slots for a while.
 
2013-04-08 12:23:53 PM
jjorsett:
But maybe President Obama should come out as opposing these junkets. Oh wait, he did that a couple of times in his first term and got his ass handed to him by Democrats who run cities that collect a lot of dough from hosting these conferences. Oops.

More to the point, he called out for people to stop going to "fun" places like Orlando and Las Vegas. So a whole bunch of people dutifully scheduled shows for Chicago, where they found out why people prefer the two "fun" cities - which are less expensive to set up in, have milder climates, nicer hotels, and don't have as much of a union problem. You're looking at a 20%+ difference in budgets if you do a show in Chicago, just from labor costs - and the quality is lower there.

I've met a lot of folks who went to those Chicago meetings - and who will never, ever schedule another show there, due to the high prices and the obnoxious union rules. A bunch of groups still do a lot of business there, but it's mostly the heavily union-connected companies that have long-term contracts with national unions.
 
2013-04-08 12:39:49 PM
Well, not really. You are typically expected to present at those conferences and those studies don't magically put themselves together. Lot of hard work goes into it.
 
2013-04-08 12:42:05 PM
of course.
that is why the government needs to stop spending tax money on these events.
 
2013-04-08 12:48:55 PM

Dr Dreidel: BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City.

My dad goes to conferences in places like Crystal City, VA, Guelph ON, and Midland, MI (and Scottsdale, AZ a few times).
My mom goes to corporate retreats in Vail (her boss's ski chalet there), Hawai'i and LA.

Dad is more of a midlevel grunt, mom is on the board (different companies).

Was this really a surprise to anyone? Don't we remember how pissed off we all were a year or two ago that the USGOV was sending people to Vegas for "leadership conferences" complete with a fully-stocked breakfast-muffin bar?




How does she explain to your Dad that it's only her and her boss who go to these "conferences"
 
2013-04-08 12:53:47 PM

NuttierThanEver: Dr Dreidel: BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City.

My dad goes to conferences in places like Crystal City, VA, Guelph ON, and Midland, MI (and Scottsdale, AZ a few times).
My mom goes to corporate retreats in Vail (her boss's ski chalet there), Hawai'i and LA.

Dad is more of a midlevel grunt, mom is on the board (different companies).

Was this really a surprise to anyone? Don't we remember how pissed off we all were a year or two ago that the USGOV was sending people to Vegas for "leadership conferences" complete with a fully-stocked breakfast-muffin bar?

How does she explain to your Dad that it's only her and her boss who go to these "conferences"


The whole board goes (as do the big-name donors), but thanks for implying my mom's a whore.

// if she'd wanted to step out, my dad used to travel ~15 weeks/year (now it's more like 5, if any)
// does anyone know if there's a special on mind-bleach anywhere? I work near a Target and a Shoppers'...
 
2013-04-08 01:12:25 PM

PainInTheASP: And did you ever notice that every single one of those 40-50 year old guys smells like the hotel shampoo and lotion?  LOL.  Spend ten bucks at Walgreens, assholes.


What? I'm sure there are a few particularly picky folks who do that, but I've never heard of anyone buying shampoo/conditioner on the road when it's provided by the hotel. Most hotels (and certainly the nicer ones that have conferences) have pretty good brand name stuff anyway. Never thought to judge anyone for using the free hotel toiletries....
 
2013-04-08 01:22:00 PM
Conferences are like business travel. For folks who don't regularly attend as part of their jobs, they seem like a perk and in fact the first one or two you get to go to are a perk. For people who have to attend them regularly they are about as glamorous as the security line Dulles.
 
2013-04-08 01:26:45 PM

Lord Dimwit: I

 work in information security. We went to a big conference in Vegas

Yeesh, Black Hat.  I went one year and didn't find it particularly informative, even though security is part of my job as well.  The presentations didn't really show me anything I didn't know already.  I feel bad for those who have to go due to some "continuing education" BS for a professional certification.

I never went again.
 
2013-04-08 02:09:01 PM
Good thing my boss didn't read this before letting me to go to the Dell Enterprise Forum...
 
2013-04-08 02:11:41 PM

justGreg: Conferences are like business travel. For folks who don't regularly attend as part of their jobs, they seem like a perk and in fact the first one or two you get to go to are a perk. For people who have to attend them regularly they are about as glamorous as the security line Dulles.


Yup. 20 years ago I used to make the rounds of conferences, probably about three or four a year. For the most part, they were useless, but it was an excuse to see the world and have someone else pay for it, or I could claim it as a tax deduction, and possibly another presentation line on my CV.

Nowadays that I don't have to pretend that I'm learning anything at conferences, I'll only go to about one per year and only if it's in a place where I want to visit. In fact, there's an organization in my field that I will have nothing to do with primarily because they only have their annual conference in St. Louis. (St. Louis? Seriously? I think someone's getting a kickback from the conference center.)
 
2013-04-08 02:16:24 PM

jgk3: I was at the conference that got us banned along with several thousand other corrosion engineers. We filled the Bally's hotel/casino and had spillover rooms in other nearby facilities. The casino had the lowest week in its history that week and, after it was over, we were "politely" requested by the convention and visitors bureau to never schedule another conference in Vegas.

The sessions were all well attended because we work in a field where probabilities are a daily part of the job. In our case, the phrase you can't beat the house is part of what we do for a living. One of my colleagues, when checking in to the hotel, dropped a nickel in the slots on the way to the elevators, won a dollar and never gambled another cent as he said he wanted to go home a winner. While that is an extreme example, very few of us lost more than $100 that week.


Cool story (seriously).  But why would you want to go to Vegas, then?  I generally don't like gambling (cheap craps I'll do.)

But any time I've been in Vegas for a conference, especially hanging out with people who want to play blackjack for hours... its the worst, most mind-numbing experience.
 
2013-04-08 02:21:24 PM
My work is sending me to a Lotus Admin conference in a couple weeks. Trust me, the bulk of my day is going to be working my arse off to learn as much as I can. After work, dinner and then I have no friggin' clue what to do besides go back to the hotel. Yeah, would rather be home with the fam for those four days but it's going to be a positive event for work life.
 
2013-04-08 02:26:34 PM

BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City


The last conference I went to was in Milwaukee.
 
2013-04-08 02:29:27 PM
downstairs:
Cool story (seriously). But why would you want to go to Vegas, then? I generally don't like gambling (cheap craps I'll do.)

Lots of shows and other entertainment there, you know. Pretty fun, if a bit pricey in some cases (like the "O" Cirque du Soleil show).
 
2013-04-08 02:31:30 PM

justGreg: Conferences are like business travel. For folks who don't regularly attend as part of their jobs, they seem like a perk and in fact the first one or two you get to go to are a perk. For people who have to attend them regularly they are about as glamorous as the security line Dulles.


So much THIS. If (like me) you chair a committee or agree to speak at a session, going to a meeting is at least double the work for no more pay. When you have no windows and are stuck in meetings, it barely matters what is outside. Plus sometimes, you ALSO have to go through security at Dulles.
 
2013-04-08 02:42:43 PM

cirby: downstairs:
Cool story (seriously). But why would you want to go to Vegas, then? I generally don't like gambling (cheap craps I'll do.)

Lots of shows and other entertainment there, you know. Pretty fun, if a bit pricey in some cases (like the "O" Cirque du Soleil show).


All good.  To each their own, I know why people like Vegas.  Just not for me.
 
2013-04-08 02:43:22 PM
Depends on the conference, is this the kind of conference where I need to learn something?  Or just attend enough talks I can give a credible post conference report and convince people I didn't piss ass drunk in Denver for three days?
 
2013-04-08 02:45:26 PM
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-08 02:53:07 PM

Myria: Lord Dimwit: I work in information security. We went to a big conference in Vegas

Yeesh, Black Hat.  I went one year and didn't find it particularly informative, even though security is part of my job as well.  The presentations didn't really show me anything I didn't know already.  I feel bad for those who have to go due to some "continuing education" BS for a professional certification.

I never went again.


Heh, I taught a class at Black Hat for years. The problem is finding the sweet spot - too simple, and nobody learns anything; too hard, and the people who are there just because their company signed them up are lost. I would have people signing up for my class (which dealt with very in-depth network forensics) who didn't know what an IP address was. At the other end of the spectrum, I had people signing up who had written some of the tools that we used in the class. It was a really interesting mix. The students right in the middle of the experience spectrum I would like to think got a lot out of the class.
 
2013-04-08 03:05:41 PM

Lord Dimwit: Myria: Lord Dimwit: I work in information security. We went to a big conference in Vegas

Yeesh, Black Hat.  I went one year and didn't find it particularly informative, even though security is part of my job as well.  The presentations didn't really show me anything I didn't know already.  I feel bad for those who have to go due to some "continuing education" BS for a professional certification.

I never went again.

Heh, I taught a class at Black Hat for years. The problem is finding the sweet spot - too simple, and nobody learns anything; too hard, and the people who are there just because their company signed them up are lost. I would have people signing up for my class (which dealt with very in-depth network forensics) who didn't know what an IP address was. At the other end of the spectrum, I had people signing up who had written some of the tools that we used in the class. It was a really interesting mix. The students right in the middle of the experience spectrum I would like to think got a lot out of the class.


unless you're getting paid to teach the course, i think you're doing it wrong.  you want to address the issue like a master and reveal enough information to show your knowledge and to garner attention to the subject matter.  then you want to make sure that you leave your contact information with everyone, because this whole class of people didn't learn to solve the problem, but they did learn that you are the guy who teaches the class on the subject, and they should just call you and get you to do it for them.
 
2013-04-08 03:09:46 PM
We have our MARC conference in Hawaii every few years or so.  Plus several interspersed all over everywhere.
 
2013-04-08 03:32:18 PM

pute kisses like a man: Lord Dimwit: Myria: Lord Dimwit: I work in information security. We went to a big conference in Vegas

Yeesh, Black Hat.  I went one year and didn't find it particularly informative, even though security is part of my job as well.  The presentations didn't really show me anything I didn't know already.  I feel bad for those who have to go due to some "continuing education" BS for a professional certification.

I never went again.

Heh, I taught a class at Black Hat for years. The problem is finding the sweet spot - too simple, and nobody learns anything; too hard, and the people who are there just because their company signed them up are lost. I would have people signing up for my class (which dealt with very in-depth network forensics) who didn't know what an IP address was. At the other end of the spectrum, I had people signing up who had written some of the tools that we used in the class. It was a really interesting mix. The students right in the middle of the experience spectrum I would like to think got a lot out of the class.

unless you're getting paid to teach the course, i think you're doing it wrong.  you want to address the issue like a master and reveal enough information to show your knowledge and to garner attention to the subject matter.  then you want to make sure that you leave your contact information with everyone, because this whole class of people didn't learn to solve the problem, but they did learn that you are the guy who teaches the class on the subject, and they should just call you and get you to do it for them.


Trust me, I wouldn't have taught the course if I weren't getting paid. :)

I stopped teaching it two years ago, and while I miss the extra income, the stress and extra work and time associated with it just wasn't worth it. Now that I have a kid, I'd rather spend as much time as possible with him.
 
2013-04-08 03:39:49 PM

groppet: The place my company has me at now just got back from a "conference" in Orlando. They all seem very tan. My company has invited me to corporate events at our headquarters.........in Atlanta. Never been to one in person. Last time I was in Atlanta a friend got stabbed and I wasent having fun before that.


Atlanta sucks.  Suckity-suckity-sucks.  I can see absolutely no reason to go there, and a 'professional conference' is hardly the thing to convince me otherwise.
 
2013-04-08 04:03:33 PM

Mentat: I heard of a scientific conference that was banned from Vegas because none of the scientists would gamble.


Probably they count cards.
 
2013-04-08 04:36:55 PM
Maybe for those just attending, but I hate working the booths.

//At least the managers pick up the tab.
 
2013-04-08 04:39:40 PM
My bad, I'm thinking vendor shows where the conferences are a sideline attraction.
 
2013-04-08 04:55:46 PM
groppet:
The place my company has me at now just got back from a "conference" in Orlando.

The way the weather's been here for the last few weeks, they must have been going to tanning booths instead of sessions...
 
2013-04-08 04:58:54 PM

stevetherobot: BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City

The last conference I went to was in Milwaukee.


I was sent from New Zealand to a conference in Milwaukee in 2011. I took an extra week off and had a holiday in Chicago.
 
2013-04-08 05:09:25 PM

thisispete: stevetherobot: BunkoSquad: Your first clue should have been that they're all in Orlando and Vegas and not in Milwaukee or Rapid City

The last conference I went to was in Milwaukee.

I was sent from New Zealand to a conference in Milwaukee in 2011. I took an extra week off and had a holiday in Chicago.


You're telling me you (a) voluntarily left New Zealand and (b) when you did this already insane act, you did it to go to Milwaukee?
 
Displayed 50 of 65 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report