Attending any conference can be rewarding, exciting, and an excellent learning experience. Yet at the same, the leash back to my desk often seems to remind me of the endless emails, work back log, and extra effort I will have to make when I return back to the office. Getting a return for your time is what conferences are all about.
This week Xenegrade will be attending the 2013 LERN Conference in San Francisco. Here is how I plan on making my experience a LERN 2013 as rewarding as possible.
- Revise the List of Trends
Face it. Things change. I can read endless news articles, blogs, and trade magazines, but hearing about trends directly from the trenches is as close to reality as you can get. Of course some of what you will hear is anecdotal, but is relevant none the less. I plan to take a look at my list of trends, and see what remains, what drops, and what I will add. That list then gets its rightful spot in our 2013 business plan.
- Match Names and Faces
In this age of electronic communications, matching a face with a name is a little more difficult. We often communicate without ever seeing the person we are doing business with. Even sales can occur with a face to face meeting. Conferences can change that in a dramatic way. Watching faces and reading name tags as participants walk by with the hopes of making that link makes time on the vendor floor fly by.
- Add More Potential Business Partnerships
Talking with other vendors is always a highlight at a conference. The ability to create synergy between Xenegrade and other vendors can prove to be a Win-Win-Win for all. And why three Wins? The customer often benefits as well when vendors work together.
- Learn What I Did Wrong
There will always be the conference participants, customers or not, who will tell me where I went wrong this past year. Of course I love to hear what I did right, but that does not lead to the same level of progress I can make when I hear what I did wrong. And it is not just progress that may result in more sales. It is the change in how we do business or the change in how our application operates for the benefit of customers where it matters. And ultimately, to the benefit of their learner market.
- Breath Some Fresh Air Outside the Office
That leash I mentioned earlier has a clasp, and conferences provide the opportunity to release that clasp and step away from the desk. The desk will be there when I return. But when I do, breathing some different air will bring along with it a refreshed sense of purpose and a sharper focus of attention. It translates to procrastinating less and meeting deadlines more. And lastly, it provides some extra exercise for those muscles used when smiling.
Have a great 2013 LERN Conference!