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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Get More from Conferences, Seminars and Webinars – Even SSQA Conferences:

Conferences are good for networking but you should be able to get additional practical benefits from them if you properly prepare beforehand. Going to conferences with no clear plan of what you NEED from them is not at all advisable. There may be situations where that’s all you can do (i.e simply go to conferences with no prior planning other than for your trip there and back) but what a shame. You will be fed information for sure. Sometimes you are bombarded with information and advertisements. 

To pay for conferences and come back more confused or with a dream-world satisfaction that you learned a lot is wasteful both financially and in the time spent. Even free webinars cost something (at least the time and the work that could have been done in that time).

An estimate of the return on investment (ROI) can be done prior to attending conferences, seminars or webinars. This helps in the setting of realistic goals about what to expect from them.  

To get the most out of any conference, the following could be helpful:
  • Do some homework beyond just knowing the topics, speakers, dates and locations;
  • If you are not already working with some knowledge of the subject matter, do a bit of research;
  • Write down specific questions relating to the topics that have relevant and practical implications for you and for which you do not yet have satisfactory answers;
  • Ask these questions at the conference at the first opportunity and take notes (this is like saying remember to breath but just in case);
  • Do not waste time with questions for which you already know the answers (some people like to do this at conference to show off their knowledge);
  • Put what you learn into practical use as soon as you get back home.
  • Actually and realistically measure quantitative parameters such as the financial gains, work reduction, effectiveness and efficiency derived or other related gains as a result of your attendance at the conference, seminar or webinar. 
Future  SSQA Conferences
You should be on the lookout for announcements about future SSQA conferences. While obtaining the SSQA manual is a very good idea, future conferences will make it come alive for you. The SSQA conference is a unique conference for the food & health industry operators, professionals and other stakeholders. It provides an opportunity for direct instructions on getting started with SSQA.

Interested participants will be shown how to access on-going assistance well after the conference. Enlisted participants will also have access to guidance that will help them to incrementally implement cost reduction and labor-saving strategies while increasing the effectiveness of their customized measures for product safety, security and quality assurance.

What the SSQA conference is not:
  • It is not bringing people together to present different high-sounding but confusing ways of doing the same old things with recurring failures.
  • The aim of the SSQA conference is not to provide lots of hypothetical and great-sounding but useless and impractical information that is discarded once participants arrive back at their respective places of work.
  • This conference is not to merely impress you with theoretical presentations and confusing information overload.
  • It is not a conference for presenting elaborate and cost intensive schemes which can only be undertaken by a small number of big companies that can afford to fail while experimenting with such schemes.
  • This is not simply another conferences that merely presents big ideas which quickly fade away as conference participants face the realities of having no funds and not knowing who, where or how to start implementing the big ideas in their operations.
  • It is not one of those “no follow-up” conferences where everything ends at the close of the conference and you are left to figure out your way through the maze of take home flyers.
You may contact the GCSE-Food & health Protection Team if you have questions about future SSQA conferences: gcse@afisservices.com

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