Benefits of Conference Attendance and Shout Out to Mr. Rogers

This past week, Rogue was so pleased to be part of #ALI_Intranet, the Advanced Learning Institute‘s annual intranet summit/conference. I could speak for days on the value of organizations like ALI, which focus on high-value content for specific audiences, but instead I’d like to talk about why it is so important to attend conferences.

When we go to a conference targeted to our industry, a specific technology that affects our organization, or a particular skill, we escape from the echo chamber we sometimes find ourselves in on the day to day. Perspectives from strangers help us see problems―and solutions―in new ways. And, also, the venue happy hours are fun.

At this past week’s intranet summit, I learned so much. Here’s a taste: planning an effective digital content strategy, creating a roadmap for innovation, gaining buy-in from the “volunteer workforce” that is often in charge of making an intranet go, and using grass-roots excitement to compel O365 adoption.

Conferences allow us to participate in weird and fun exercises that are sometimes meaningful and sometimes ice breakers. We leave with new relationships, networking experience, and inspiration. We are given time to share, listen, and ask questions. There are opportunities to speak, serve as peer leaders, and hear and tell great stories. Inside jokes happen as the attendees there with you become your fam for the week. These are all engaging moments that energize even the most wizened participants.

For fun, because it’s Friday, and because I’m still coming down from the high of an amazing intranet summit, I did a quick google search on knowledge-sharing quotes, and these 5 spoke to my conference-attending heart.

All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections. 

― Arthur C. Aufderheide

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

― Father James Keller

Example is the best precept.

― Aesop

The only good thing to do with advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.

― Oscar Wilde

And, my favorite…

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

― Mr. Rogers

With those wise words of great thinkers and feelers, I leave you with this challenge: before the end of the day today, find a conference that interests you and fits within your professional responsibilities, then make a case to attend. The worst that can happen is your boss says no, and you try again (with a stronger case).

Thanks for reading! Now go attend a conference and get your learn on.


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