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Fighting the Post-Conference Blues

Let’s talk about how conferences wrap up.

It’s nice when a conference has a final epilogue session, where the attendees gather, a few words are spoken, and there’s a formal close. But I’ve also been to conferences where it’s just “you can’t stay here” after the last round of speakers.

After the conference closing, I start to feel down. It’s the sudden drop of adrenalin; going from “go go GO!” to “oh it’s over“. The epilogue close helps. But there’s still a little melancholy as you say goodbye to friends new and old. Perhaps I’m unusual in this, but I don’t think I’m alone.

For my mental health, I’ve had to develop some post-conference coping strategies and I’d like to share two with you.

Strategy One: Find an after party! 

You go to the after party, have a drink or two, maybe meet someone you hadn’t met during the conference and have a chat with some friends you won’t see again for a while. The party slowly peters out, and you slip out when you’ve had enough. It’s a nice gradual let down.

Some conferences have formal after parties. That’s perfect. But even if there’s not a formal planned event, the organisers might announce something they’re throwing together on the final day. And sometimes you have to make the magic happen yourself. I have been known to tweet on the conference hashtag trying to get an after party started.

Here’s an example from H5PCon2018. It worked!

Strategy Two: Have something to look forward to!

DisneySea Main Gate
After MoodleMoot Japan 2017, I spent the next day at Tokyo DisneySea. Not as mellow as a drive in the country, but it was certainly something to look forward to.

There’s not always going to be an after party. Sometimes people – myself included – just want to go home.

So I try to plan a nice solo activity to look forward to. Sometimes it’s something simple – a nice dinner at the steakhouse I spotted across from my hotel on the first day. Or maybe I have an anticipated new season queued up and ready to binge watch on Netflix.

Sometimes it’s a trip or activity the next day. For example, after the 2018 NVC conference in Adelaide, the day after I rented a car and drove to the mouth of the Murray River. From the photo above, you can see it wasn’t as impressive as I thought it would be. But I had a nice drive through rural South Australia. It was a nice enjoyable mellowing-out activity.

The best part about this is sometimes I really need a mellow-out activity after a busy conference to organise my thoughts and think about how to put that newly acquired inspiration into practice.

Do you have a post-conference coping strategy? Are you a die-hard after partier or do you just want to get on the plane and go home?

Upcoming Asia Pacific Moots…

MoodleMoot Australia will be held in Melbourne on July 1 to 3. You only have a few days left for Earlybird tickets!

Wondering about MoodleMoot New Zealand? I think there will be some exciting news soon; circle October 2 to 4 on your calendar.

We’re still tracking MoodleMoot Global. This event will be held on November 18 to 20 in Barcelona. We’re still curious to see what Moodle HQ has planned for this event, and we’ll keep you updated.

…and other Elearning/EdTech Conferences

The 2019 National VET Conference will be held in Brisbane on September 12 & 13. If you’re an educator in the vocational training space, you really want to attend this conference. And Scott will be presenting “What to Consider when Selecting an LMS”.

EdTechPosium will be held in Canberra on October 28 & 29. You might also know EdTechPosium by its former name – MoodlePosium. This year the host is the Australian National University and the theme is Place, Purpose, Possibilities.

The 2019 Eportfolio Forum has opened its Call for Proposals. If you’re a Mahara or other Eportfolio user, why not put your hand up and present? The Eportfolion Forum will be held on November 20 & 21, also in Canberra.

Scott Huntley
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Scott Huntley

Kenneth "Scott" Huntley is an Instructional Designer with Transport for NSW and WordPress instructor with The Parramatta College. Scott is a Canadian (Nova Scotian) Expat living in the Southern Highlands of Australia. Scott is a Moodle enthusiast and an Internet of Things hobbyist.

2 thoughts on “Fighting the Post-Conference Blues

  • Pingback: Fighting the Post-Conference Blues - Scott.Technology

  • Very interesting!
    I feel a bit deflated immediately after running a conference – usually a New Zealand Moodle Moot.
    When attending other conferences I usually find myself so busy in catch-up mode for ‘real work’ I don’t have time to notice.
    But you do have such a good point, there should always be a defined ‘end of conference’ moment – whether that is formal, informal, or both.
    I’ll be thinking about this as we organize the 2019 New Zealand Moodle Moot and H5P MiniConf over the next few months 🙂


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