I am in my 27th year of preparing sales and marketing professionals to execute their trade show programs and events at a higher level of performance. As new sales techniques are introduced we have adapted them so our adult learners are exposed to the latest approaches. But as an instructor I am amazed at how today’s advanced electronic technologies have on the one hand improved our ability to deliver riveting education. Yet, on the other hand, technology is one of the most distracting elements in the classroom. Adult students are using laptops to download their handouts and take session notes. They use their iPads and iPhones to capture memorable points presented by the seminar leaders. That’s what it looks like to the instructor, but that is not always the case. Some are completing on line show service orders, answering “urgent” emails, or even texting to a friend about a hot lunch spot. If that is what you are planning to do, why attend? Why spend the time and invest the money? Why offend the instructor who has taken the time to prepare and deliver the session? Why, because it has become accepted behavior. Call it multitasking or whatever seems justifiable. It’s just plain disrespect.
If you are planning to use technology to capture notes, view downloaded handouts, then inform the instructor. If you cannot resist doing other than being fully involved in the educational session, leave the electronics off.