The last day of NECC, and Homer and I really wanted to catch a couple more sessions on open source software for classrooms. Our previous session on iPods was jam-packed, and ran a bit long. Subsequently, we were later than we might have liked in getting to the session on Wikis. It was already just about full, with standing room only. Since this was supposed to be a hands-on workshop, and since we had no way to really use my laptop, we gave up. Unfortunately, it also meant we missed out on any other session during that time slot. Rather than hang around for another hour and half, we decided to head on home.
Overall, this has been a good conference. I didn’t really learn much new, but I got some ideas about things to try in our district. I now know that podcasts are of keen interest, so I’ll be looking for some resources to help with that – both in terms of training and supplies.
At dinner Tuesday night I told my crew that the worst part of a conference such as NECC comes four to six weeks after the trip. That’s when the vendor calls start coming in. First, there are the contacts made by my group, each accompanied by the comment, "You’ll have to talk to Tom Taylor, our Director of Technology." Gee, thanks guys.
That I can deal with, though. Usually, it’s something that has caught the attention of one of the group, and it might bear further investigation. I rely on them to help our group stay abreast of new things for our schools. Occasionally, it’s a way to weasel out of a vendor conversation so that they can score a booth goodie such as a t-shirt. I guess I can forgive them for that, too.
There is a second, more annoying type of call. At just about every booth they would scan our badge. In a few weeks I’ll get a call from someone at one of these companies saying that I had "expressed interest in the company at NECC." These folks can get pretty miffed when I can’t remember their company, or what it does. I visit so many booths, have my badge scanned so many times, or drop my business card in for so many drawings, that it would be impossible to keep track of them.
There are some vendors where I really do want to do follow-up. In most cases, I have their cards, and it’s ME that initiates the follow-up. If I make the call, that’s one thing. But a random badge scan at a conference doesn’t mean I’m going to jump to buy a new product.
[tags]NECC, NECC2007, vendors[/tags]