I’m working through a few ideas, but I’m a little bit stuck. And as I haven’t been invited to speak at a conference this week or next (where I get a lot of thoughts and ideas), I decided to put on a conference in my living room. The content doesn’t quite matter, because it’s my conference.
People ask me all the time which conferences are the ones to attend? My answer: your own.
Which Conference Should You Attend?
Sure, there’s all kinds of great events out there. I had a blast last year at several, and most of them were surprising to me. For instance, speaking with the folks at HR Florida was a real blast. But if you’re not a human resources professional in Florida, it might not be your event. See what I mean?
I loved Pioneer Nation in Portland, for the entrepreneurial types. I am thrilled to be part of Authority Rainmaker this year, as well as Social Media Marketing World. But in all those cases, the events were special to me because I have friends there.
This plus a conversation with a friend asking me for this same advice got me thinking.
Throw Your Own Conference
Today, I’m watching some TED Talks, mostly about developing nations and innovation because they’re more interesting than talks about here. I’m watching the Spartan Up Podcast and lots of interviews with Commander Mark Divine of SEALFit to learn more about mental toughness. I’m using Chromecast (you can do the same with the Amazon Fire TV Stick) and throwing the videos up on my TV. It’s better than being there in some regards.
But Wait! What About The Hallway Conversations?
Look, I *love* conferences. I love meeting and talking with people. And you can’t beat the serendipity. You must attend live events if you want the full effect. No two ways about it.
But if you’re home, and not really at an event, it’s okay. You can make your own hallways.
In the last few days, I’ve caught up with Tim Hayden about mobile technology and his life, and with Scott Oldford about his new book, and I’ve created podcasts with some of the conversations I ended up having. It’s been really meaningful. Heck, I started a daily practice with Claudia Altucher’s new book.
What Comes of It All?
There are three reasons to go to a conference, in our line of work:
1.) Learn new things.
2.) Make new connections and deepen existing ones.
3.) Land new business.
With my “do it yourself in your living room” conference today, I’ve been able to do 1 and 2 really well. I suspect number 3 will come along from the fruits of what I’m learning in 1 and 2. Don’t you?
So, don’t wait to be invited to an event. Don’t worry that you can’t afford one, if that’s the issue. Make your own conference, and make it the place to be! (Oh, and no one is trying to raffle off a free iPad for my business card, so there’s that!)