The Paul J. Hartman State and Local Tax Forum is one of the best state tax conferences you can attend. Great topics, great speakers.

With that said, while attending the Forum last week, I started to think about state tax seminars in general. What is the purpose of seminars? How can we make them better? More informative? More practical? More strategic? More actionable?

Do seminars actually help you change something when you get back to the office or do you simple check-it-off your list, and record your CPE credits?

The following is a list of some observations and opinions about seminars:

  1. Tell me something I don't know.
  2. Tell me strategy.
  3. Tell me how to take what you are telling me and apply it. 
  4. Tell me the 'so what.'
  5. Don't just report. 
  6. Let's have a discussion that results in changing the game.
  7. Let's flip the classroom.
  8. The speakers I enjoyed the most, told me a story.
  9. People multi-task at live seminars the same as they do when they watch a webinar. The only difference is that you can see them do it at a seminar.
  10. Speakers are here to help the audience. The audience doesn't need the speaker to sell their expertise or show them how great they are. We don't care. 
  11. Why does every seminar have the same group of speakers? We need new blood. We need a new state tax 'collective' or 'think-tankers.' We need a SALT profession succession plan.

How can we make SALT seminars better?