There are many new mining-related conferences to attend in 2013. All very well if you are very important and travel with an unlimit company expense acount.
But lousy if you are on your own devices and an innocent trip downtown to visit food & flesh could result in trash & tragedy. Stick to places where you understand the language and know the money. And do not need a security guard or the niceties that top folk demand and think of as standard.
Go where they publish full proceedings. Why bother with those conferences that give you a mere CD or maybe an advert-full thing of badly-written abstracts? If they cannot be bothered to produce a hard-copy, why bother to go to get a simulacrum of reality dressed up as information? It is OK for the conference queens who go to be seen. But it no good for the rest of us, the mere 99%, who hope to be able to read paper copies of deliberations we are not important enough to attend.
Attend if there are pre-conference courses of serious intent. These pre-conference courses make no money for the presenters. Thus they put on courses as a marketing tool. If they judge the venue & event unworthy of a course, they have decided the conference itself is unworthy of attention and serious attendees. So should you.
Avoid conferences of fashionable content. There is always the topic of the day. Yesterday it was sustainable mining—damn me if I know what that is or care. It means a lot to its supporters, those who pontificate on its virtues and religious significance. And who fail to see the obvious: teach societies and governments about public health and the construction of seismic-resistant houses. Many will die while the sustainable development committees deliberate on what they are talking about.
Stay away from conference to which you travel more than three hours in coach. Be assured the conference organizers are up front and have not given a thought to the discomforts of being at the back of the plane with screaming kids, loud ladies, inadequate drinks, and bad food. Better attend a webcast where can sit in comfort at your desk and go home to get drunk cheaply.
Avoid conferences where you know or suspect the keynote speakers will merely repeat what they said two years ago at a similar conference. Heads of large, successful companies are particularly prone to this sin. They are too busy to prepare new materials and are merely marketing, not informing or sharing insight.
So good judgment in deciding which conferences to attend in 2013. All are an opportunity for an exciting outing at company expense. All are an opportunity to go downtown where there is food, drink, and flesh of a different type from what you can get at home. Although avoid those terrible meals at the boss’s favorite place. You can be sure the food is bad, the company dull, and the bill high.
Let us know how you decide and proceed and succeed. Personally I will remain in Vancouver where I know what is good and what is bad. Where I know the places & prostitutes, the money & language, the way there & the way home—safely.