I love ELT conferences! For many reasons, in fact. One of them is that all ELT events are so different, and you never know what exactly to expect from them: everything goes as a surprise.
However, this idea had never occurred to me before E-merging Forum-3 (EMF-3) this year.
Partly, due to the resounding success of the E-merging Forum-2 last year, many attendees were rather disappointed with this year’s forum. Some delegates were upset with the speakers, some with the venue, some with the catering and others with all of the above things all together. As for me, I should admit that EMF-2 was more successfully orchestrated than EMF-3. But I also believe that it’s hard to live up to the ever-growing expectations of participants and keep up with the really high standard set up by the previous forum. I’m convinced that the organizers of the event, the British Council team in Moscow, were trying to do their best and that next year they will take into consideration the merits and setbacks of EMF-3 and will definitely surprise us all with the outstanding organization of E-merging Forum-4.
Yet there was another thought that came to my mind during the EMF-3: the outcome of a conference depends not only on what you take from the event but, to a large extent, on what you bring to it. If you go to a conference with an open mind and heart and you are ready not only to take but to give and share, you’re most likely to be rewarded with positive emotions and fruitful ideas. So, when a conference doesn’t meet your high expectations, this is you who can turn a seemingly upsetting situation into your benefit: just look around and see how many new people are around you – this is your chance to connect and discover. The main treasure of all the conferences are the people and ideas they bring.
In fact, the distinctive feature of EMF-3 was that this year saw hundreds of teachers from all over Russia and some other countries as well who were eager to socialize, share and learn from each other. And that was a really big thing about the Forum which provided the space and unique chance for teachers to meet.
So, all conferences differ, but what unites them all is the chance they give for teachers to come together and enjoy each other’s company, share ideas and savour the feeling of community.
Now, when EMF-3 is over, I just can’t wait E-merging Forum-4! I can’t wait to see here in Moscow the familiar and dear faces from my PLN. Something is telling me that next year’s forum is going to be really special. And it will be, if you all find time to come!
I’m looking forward to meeting you all in Moscow in March, 2014!