What do you miss when you ignore industry conferences?

You are a writer, technical writer, technical communicator, information developer. Why should you care about IT or other industry-specific conferences if you have powerful conferences going on in TechComm?

Before IT Arena 2017, the answer I would give is: because experts should develop their expertise both vertically (into the depth of the matter) and horizontally (extending their expertise with competencies of other spheres). I’m sorry to sound pragmatical, but that is the question of market value of a professional.

But now, after having such an experience, I would like to share my reasons why going to industry conferences is actually cool and enriching.

  1. Be it Web Summit or Archmarathon Awards, industry conferences are innovative and visionary by nature.
  2. You can learn the trends:
    • Technical. They dictate the development of the product you write for and your deliverables. To remain in the market, you must not only follow them, but often be ahead of them. For example, are chatbots trend or hype? Should you jump the track?
    • Business. They show you where your customers will go and what their drivers will be. Either you are with them in their roadmap, or you are behind. For example, if you write for startups, there is nothing more relevant than their challenges and how information can fix them.
  3. You get to know your customers, their concerns and dreams. You can learn how to mitigate their risks and make their dreams come closer.
  4. You discover that you are not alone with your problems. When Skype product manager says she had issues with understanding end users as well, believe me, it becomes easier to face those issues yourself.
  5. I got the answers to some my major questions at the conference. Is documentation useful at all? Why should startups care about documentation?
  6. And sometimes networking is just the cure-all.

If you are curious by nature, you’ll love the conferences, they’ll give you food for thoughts and inspiration to fuel your work.

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