I've just spent two days at the Open Compute Summit and my brain is still decompressing from all the activity.
Everybody has a different style on how they attend conferences. Some want to try and meet as many people as they can looking for the whales like the casino industry looks for the high roller. This method is favored by many sales people.
Technology people are looking for newest SW and HW.
Out of 500 people attending the Open Compute Summit, I have 7 new business cards. So, you can tell I don't believe in the idea of having to work a room to build your rolodex.
I focused on talking to the influentials and the thought leaders. People who I met for the first time, we talked about big ideas to see where they are at. Some people I have known in e-mail or phone, but not met in person. But, the vast majority of people i talked to where people I have met in the past, and we can exchange new ideas.
Now, some may attend to catch up almost like a reunion, but that is kind of limiting for me. What is much more interesting is understanding how the ecosystem is working. Who is there. Who is not. Who is talking to who. Who is presenting and driving new ideas. How things are changing vs. previous events. How this event compares to others. Then, you start to discover new patterns of ideas. The ideas that are thought leaderships type.
On the plane trip out I watched Sherlock Holmes 2 and power of deduction has been morphed into almost superhuman powers.
Here is a well thought out 12 steps of How to Develop Sherlock Holmes Intuition. I really like #10.
Talk through your conclusion with a trusted person. Holmes was a guarded person andtrusted people only when they had proven themselves trustworthy and loyal. In turn, those persons had Holmes' complete trust, such as Watson. By the same token, "nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.", so be sure to open up and talk through your conclusions with someone you do trust, to use them as a sounding board when you've worked through the deductions.
One of the things that makes a conference more enjoyable is having a partner, like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, discussing analyzing, criticizing, exchanging ideas. Olivier Sanche was one of those guys who was a partner. And, at OCP i had a partner I trusted to discuss conclusions I had come to.
After 2 days of intense analysis I especially like the last point. Getting home it is family time, and we are getting a new ping pong table to play as a family.
Plan downtime, party time, and leisure time into your life. Sherlock Holmes worked hard when sleuthing but he also loved his leisure and being languid. Deducing things and pushing your intuition to its limits can wear you down and rejuvenation is an essential part of ensuring that you continue to stay sharp, focused, and clever.