It seems like there is a different tech conference every month these days, so sifting through the noise and determining which one is truly beneficial for you and your personal career growth (along with which events will benefit your organization) is a task not to be taken lightly.
For starters, conferences can be costly (conference pass, travel, hotel) and if you don't justify the value or ROI it can bring to yourself and your company, then you might as well just flush a few thousand dollars down your toilet. I personally belong to the camp of frugality and can't stand wasting money!
I also belong to the camp of Continuous Development and "ABL" (Always Be Learning).
So when you thoughtfully decide upon which tech conference(s) to attend, the benefits for you and your organization can be priceless.
Let's consider the IBM Vision conference that starts on May 9th. Who should attend, and why?
1. If you and your organization rely on any of the following software, there will be over 150 sessions that feature it in some form or fashion:
IBM Cognos TM1, Cognos Analytics, SPSS, Planning Analytics, Microsoft Excel, Watson Analytics, ICM, PCI, OpenPages, CDM
These sessions will cover a variety of topics such as:
- Ways to use the software that you might not be familiar with
- Leadership panels on lessons learned and innovations achieved with the software
- Peer to peer lunch sessions around strategies, challenges, and successes
- Highly interactive sessions with gurus that will help you with orchestrating projects
- Real companies talking about their own success stories
It's important to stay up to speed on anything and everything to do with the software you use daily, so consider these conference sessions as continuing education for you and your company.
2. Speaking of real companies, over 50 different organizations will be presenting at these sessions. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from your peers, take that knowledge back to your organization, or even a way to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing.
3. If you've ever participated in a beta software program and enjoy driving the development of software products you use regularly (see software list above), then this conference is one that you should attend. There are numerous sessions that will center on product usability where you have the opportunity to provide feedback on what's missing. Additionally, you will have countless networking opportunities to talk shop with these folks in a more informal setting. So do your LinkedIn homework- know who you need to talk to, plan meetings, and bump into them at the conference!
4. If your role at your organization centers on any of the following areas, this is your chance to learn how to make technology work for you!
- Governance, risk, and compliance
- Financial and operational performance/management
- Accelerating sales and optimizing sales teams
This conference brings together all of the software solutions, your peers, the experts, and the product developers that affect you and your industry, all in one place for you to have access to for 3 full days. So put your gameplan together- education, strategizing, networking, and driving product development to help you do more for your company.