The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

The Value of Association

Since I’ll be on an airplane at 5 AM tomorrow, I’m posting this a day earlier than usual.  I’m winding down my week in Las Vegas, where I was attending the 2013 HDI conference for technical support professionals. It was a great week, with plenty of informative sessions and some awesome keynotes, including Steve Wozniak, who opened the conference on the first day with a wonderful question and answer session with Cinda Daly, HDI’s Director of Content. I was the track chair for the desktop support track, and felt that the content there was a good mix of vendors and practitioners.canstockphoto0479633

There is one thing I not only take away from all of the industry meetings I attend but try to share with anyone who has not been to one. That is the value of the association you get at events like these. You get to meet people from everywhere – all over the USA and even from around the globe.

And you know what? It’s cathartic to learn that no matter what industry, no matter where in the world the person does business, we all face similar challenges and experience similar successes. And the rewards to be gained from talking to all of these folks can be significant, becuase they may have creative solutions to problems you’ve been struggling with for a long time.

Last but not least, the networking opportunities are endless. You get the opportunity to feel out how other industries are fairing and get a leg up on incoming trends in technology. You can also find opportunities to expand your own areas of expertise by getting involved in user groups, forums, or ways to keep in touch with all the acquaintances you’ll make at the conference.

So I can strongly encourage you to think about attending an industry conference. If you have best practices you’d like to share, many of them will compensate you for the admittance if you agree to host a session – and easy way to show ROI if you’re trying to get the expense approved. If you’re involved in the technical support field, I hope to see you next year in Orlando for the 2014 HDI Conference!

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