Yesterday the PMI Congress concluded in Dallas and everyone returned back to their normal routine.  After almost a week full of activities, meetings, speeches, and brain storming session I find that I am both filled with energy and exhausted.  Earlier today I was talking with a friend about the range of reactions that came out of the conference and he commented how for him he noticed that he was excited and disappointed at the same time.  While this set of emotions seem to be conflicting with one another I knew exactly what he meant.  The reason for this feeling is that for many of us events such as this present a great opportunity to enhance knowledge, network, and rethink the way we do things.  Due to the compact nature of the schedule and the limited amount of time we have we find that our adrenaline runs high and that we are constantly on the go.   However, as soon as the conference is concluded we are left almost with a sense of loss and disappointment.  The adrenaline disappears and we are left with almost an empty feeling.  The emotion goes from extreme excitement to radio silence.

As I reflect on how things went throughout the week at the event I find that the most important “sessions” for me were the ones in the hallways spent catching up with old friends and colleagues and meeting other individuals.  I joked with a colleague that PMI should schedule “brainstorming sessions” where attendees can go to a conference room and get an opportunity to just talk rather than listen to a formal presentation.  While it is interesting to hear from professionals on best practices and lessons learned, sometimes the most productive and creative ideas come from the brainstorming sessions that we have with colleagues.  These are ad-hoc discussions that seem aimless in the beginning but eventually lead to an epiphany of some sort.

After over 15 years of attending the PMI meeting and conferences I am always amazed by the various opportunities that we can find to learn from one another and about project management, even if we don’t spend the entire time attending presentations and formal sessions.