Come Together: Why In-Person Conferences Still Matter

by Nik Wahlberg | August 27 2018

Never has information and access to ideas been easier. Need to know the forecast, “Hey Alexa, what’s the weather?” Wondering who sings the song you’re hearing in the restaurant? Shazam® it. Need to know who was the 23rd president during the middle of a conversation? Yes, this happened… Whip out your cell phone and look it up. The same is true for access to ideas, information and tips for your job. Looking for a new way to XXXX at work? “Google it” is a legitimate starting point to finding a solution. We can now subscribe to blogs, pages, channels, newsletters, watch webinars, etc. to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and solutions others in our industries are creating. With all this access to information virtually, is there still a place for conferences and face-to-face events? We say: now more than ever.

While the access is amazing, it does not replace the value of conversations, question and answer sessions, networking and collaboration. Reading the articles is only one part of the equation. There are still numerous benefits to collaborative learning for the workplace, including:

  • Skill building
  • Brainstorming
  • Critical-thinking skill development
  • Relationship building
  • Engaged workforce[i]

While typically done online, crowdsourcing is simply the idea of obtaining information or input into a project by enlisting input, or services, from several people. There are also numerous benefits to crowdsourcing solutions for your organization:

  • Identifying and solving complex issues
  • Receiving feedback
  • Saving company money & resources
  • Generating profitable ideas[ii]

Attending conferences is a hybrid of hearing what field experts have to say in-person, collaborative learning and crowdsourcing to benefit yourself and your team mates. Kelly Minihan, Digital Marketing expert for Commerce Bank described the benefit well as she said, “Attending conferences gives me the opportunity to hear what problems and solutions my peers are facing and putting into place. I always come back to the office feeling excited to put what I’ve heard to work.” While there is sometimes reluctance to share with the competition, it is those kinds of interactions and conversations that can lead to a spark that can help you solve a problem, reach a goal, or reframe an ongoing discussion using what others are doing. It’s always exciting to hear a concept, or idea from a speaker and know that a variation of that can make all the difference for a project, or campaign I’m working on,” Minihan concluded.

Umbraco US Festival We’ve experienced the same kind of enlightening moments at conferences including recent ABA and Umbraco events. It is those “aha” moments that leaves us setting aside time and budget to continue to attend and present these kinds of events. There are conferences for most any vertical, or any profession. Find one that’s right for you. Go with an open mind, a set of goals, a stack of business cards, and be prepared to meet people and take good notes! Consider joining us in Chicago for Umbraco USA Festival 2018 in Chicago this October.

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