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Nov 05
2012

The Benefits of Conferences

Posted by: Vicki Thomas in DRJ Blogs

Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

Vicki Thomas

As you likely know, the team at Disaster Recovery Journal holds two conferences each year: DRJ Fall World and DRJ Spring World. DRJ is not alone in hosting, organizing, and managing these learning and networking opportunities. A quick search of the Internet reveals a range of conferences, workshops, and seminars focused on the issues of business continuity and disaster recovery.

 

Now of course - we’d like you to attend DRJ Fall World and DRJ Spring World - but we understand that there are only so many “conference dollars” available and you have to make smart decisions. 

 

The big question though that always comes up (regardless of the size of your organization) is: what will you get from the conference? In light of this, we thought we’d give you our thoughts on the values to you and your organization on attending conferences. (You might want to bookmark this blog post for fast and easy reference!)

 

Networking

All too often it is easy to get stuck in our cubicles, focusing on they day-to-day tasks and then rushing home at the end of the day. Sure we talk to our colleagues but do you ever drop an email to or pick up the phone to talk with others who do similar work? Probably not because: you don’t have the time, might not know anyone dealing with the same industry concerns/questions, or simply never think to do so.

 

We learn so much from talking with others who share the same interests as us. This holds true for our hobbies and our professional development. Hence, conference attendance - this is where and how you’ll meet others who are tackling the same professional questions, want to learn the latest about trends, and likely have advice on strategies/choices that have or have not worked.

 

Conference attendance allows you to meet with, learn from, and connect with others who want to learn as much as you do. This knowledge and experience simply translates to benefits for your organization.

Up-To-Date With The Latest Technology

It is at industry conferences that companies will launch or “roll-out” their latest technology. This is a smart move, these companies know that lots of people just like you are attending conferences and are therefore a captive audience. 

 

For those of you who make technology decisions for your organizations, it is in your best interest to be able to talk face-to-face with developers, sales engineers, product owners and others who have used the product. This is how you can really learn about the latest technology - conferences allow you to go beyond the press release and really learn about the latest technology that can benefit your organization.

Generate Interest For Your Company/Product

Even with attendance at a conference and not having a booth yourself - you can generate interest and awareness of your company, product or technology. By speaking with others during conference lunches/suppers, attending the welcome reception and networking with those who have booths - you have the forum to talk about what it is you do. 

 

These conversations and interactions can have a trickle-down effect that include Googles searches of your company, visits to your corporate website, Twitter follows, Facebook likes - the list really does go on. Conference attendance not only allows you to learn about other companies and solutions but so to does it allow others to learn about you and your organization.

Valuable Learning Opportunities/Dedicate Time For Professional Education

Education and learning are key to professional survival. We all aim to read the latest journal article or to sit down and ready industry magazines - but all too often it is hard to find the time to do this. Unfortunately for many of us, our learning and education options fall to the wayside.

 

This is one of the most widely overlooked aspects to conference attendance... Learning and education opportunities abound! Attend pre-conference seminars, attend conference workshops, meet with others to brainstorm over solutions, etc. Beyond meeting with vendors and collecting product literature, conferences provide a focused and affordable method for you to get some practical and appropriate professional development.

 

Convinced  yet? We’re guessing that you are - so now pass this blog post onto your colleagues! The next step is to start planning which conference(s) you will attend. 

 

(Not to brag too much... but visit our new DRJ Spring World website and download the full agenda to learn more about our March conference in Orlando, Florida.)