If Conference Organizers Ran Music Festivals…

One of the hardest tasks when running a conference is to find speakers who can talk intelligently about their real working experience of subjects that genuinely interest the audience. Would you let somebody with a degree in tourism decide the agenda for a convention of neurosurgeons? Unlikely. Would you want someone who works in marketing to choose the speakers for a symposium on international law? Probably not. So why would we be happy that people who studied hospitality decide who gives advice on how to manage risk? That would be like running a music festival if you have no interest in music…

1. A pub covers band would be headlining whilst Rihanna would be bottom of the bill

Because your typical conference organizer has never worked inside a telco, they have no idea what is good and what is terrible, and because they do no useful research they have no idea who the audience wants to listen to. They only know about job titles, which is like placing Björn Again above Beyoncé and Jay-Z because you think the latter have sillier names.

2. Death metal heads would spend 6 hours listening to gentle folk music

The typical conference organizer does not understand what you do, and does not understand what the speakers do, so they have no way of judging if there is anything in common between what you do and what the speakers do, other than you both vaguely doing something to do with telecoms. The result is that the organizer who is an expert on hotels and catering will serve an audience of cable television providers an entrée of clearing houses for roaming followed by a dessert of IoT security for wearable devices.

3. The roadies would be paid more than the bands

At a music festival, the people who make most money are the people who appear on stage. At a telecoms risk conference, the people on stage make less than every other member of the crew. The person who sold the tickets, the person who pours the drinks, the person who manages the website and the person who designed the poster all get paid whilst the actual talent works for free. Keep that in mind when contemplating how much you pay in entrance fees.

4. Nobody would come

Music fans have more sense than to attend terrible events run by know-nothings who only aspire to make the maximum possible profit by abusing the goodwill of the musicians and the audience. Perhaps we should learn from their example?

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.