Thursday, March 17, 2011


When you attend “breakout” (educational) sessions at the IRgA, ask questions!

I subscribe to, which is a web-site mostly devoted to the printing industry (as opposed to the reprographics industry.) Some of the articles on that web-site do “cross over” into the reprographics field.

A few days ago, when I visited, I noticed a new article (actually, it was a Press Release) about a “panel discussion of Kodak customers” that must have recently taken place.

The title of the article/Press Release:

“Kodak customers discuss strategies for diversifying and growing their businesses”

So, I clicked on the article, hoping that I would find kind-of-a-listing of “the strategies” Kodak’s customers are employing to grow and diversify their businesses - - only to find, much to my chagrin, that there wasn’t any information of that sort. So, reading the article proved to be a waste of time (I’m just glad that it was not several pages long!)

So, inasmuch as there really wasn’t any actionable information in the article/Press Release, why am I ever bothering to mention the article/Press Release?

Well, for two reasons:

1) First and foremost, I think the world’s population would be better off if we did not (or did not have to) waste time reading articles/Press releases that offer nothing of real value. Think of the strain on eyesight and the results of that (we spend more on Opthamologists, Optomotrists and Opticians than we would if we did not waste our eyesight. A good example of an exercise in wasting eyesight is reading articles posted on “Reprographics 101”. J)

2) Second, we all go to conferences and conventions and meetings. Some of us do this more often than others. Most of us are looking for “actionable” information. When you go to a conference, convention or meeting, and a session you go to has a specific title (such as the title of the Kodak article I mentioned above), but, as you are listening to what’s being said, it “dawns on you” that they are not covering topics directly related to the title, HOLD UP YOUR HAND, and (using the Kokak panel discussion as an example) ask this question, “I came here to find out WHAT the STRATEGIES are”, so would you please kindly give me a list of the strategies?” In other words, hold the speakers and presenters “accountable” for what they said they were going to be talking about and sharing. If you aren’t willing to do that, then you might as well leave the room.

I’m sorry to waste your time with this particular post. It’s just that I have a personal “pet-peeve” about conferences and meetings. Most of the time, people in the audience, when given the opportunity to do so, do not ask questions. If you do not ask questions, then how can you learn? I’m not all that smart, so I have to ask questions. Are you “so smart” that you don’t have to? Or, do you not ask questions because you simply don’t care to learn?

There will be “breakout” (educational) sessions at the IRgA. I hope you’re going to be attending the IRgA Convention. If you do attend, remember to ASK questions. If you hear something that you’re not sure you heard correctly, ask for clarification. If you were expecting something that was not talked about, then raise your hand and ask about that.

There is an old saying - - - “THE ONLY DUMB QUESTION …. IS THE ONE THAT IS NOT ASKED.”

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