Conferences were once a great way of appreciating employees and a place where people were brought together for the sole purpose of presenting and discussing new inventions or ways that had been innovated so as every member that attended a certain conference would come from the conference with some new way of doing things as per the presentations. In this day and age where competition is very high on all platforms i.e. technology, agriculture, arts and entertainment, conferences have become the hub for marketing of products.
Marketing firms are running the show in conferences whereby in a teacher’s conference we find that book publishers, cooperative societies, stationery companies are paying lots of money to their marketing firms so as to organize conferences for head teachers and principals. In this kind of conference, the marketing firms become the organizers and they bring their own experts who guide the conversation in the direction of the marketer.
A marketer representing different organizations i.e. publishing house, media houses, clothing manufacturer for uniforms, office stationary, Sacco’s, banks, insurance and technology firms have become the biggest organizers of conferences for various professionals. Speakers that are brought in by the marketer are usually coached in the way they should present their flow of ideas in a way that would influence the members present on where or what they should go for. A good example is having a media personality being brought as a guest speaker at an entrepreneurial conference whereby the marketer’s idea is usually to lead the followers or the fans of the speaker to join a certain investment to join and become members.
The standards of conferences have drastically dropped whereby instead of those hosting the conferences arranging for discussion on various outstanding topics and new innovations the y have mostly dealt with networking between people and advertising to the delegates. The conferences have become organization oriented and marketing oriented away from the sole purpose of conferences which was people oriented and tackled the needs of the members that attended the conferences.
Most of the conferences have compromised the integrity and purpose of the meetings as per how they were supposed to be. From being centers of excellence and sharing of expertise information to being
places for enjoyment and fun making. The delegates are usually compromised in a way that they do not get any value addition in their line of work by attending the conference.
In conclusion, the people attending the conferences should be sober minded to ensure that as they attend the meetings wherever the conferences have been hosted, they should know that they are the stakeholders and that they are the ones responsible for what they are going to share or what
they are going to get from attending a certain conference. After attending the conference they should ask themselves of the value and what somebody has learnt from the conference and that the marketing firms are there for their own survival in this competitive world.