Greetings from San Jose! My flight got delayed a day because there were predictions of bad weather back home. It turned out that the weather ended up being not quite that bad after all, so I’m still in California for an extra day. I was going to spend a good part of the day to begin recapping all the events that I attended, but found that one of the downfalls of working strictly with mobile devices is that copying my Twitter notes into either Notes or WordPress on my iPad isn’t that easy to do. So, I’ll have to wait to post all the details and photos from the event.
What I will say is that I highly encourage content strategists to attend this conference. I liked that it was very accessible and relaxed. Perhaps it’s because I know many people in this field from other conferences now, including many of the presenters, but I think it’s more than that. I met a lot of new people as well, and as a group, I find content strategists to be a jovial group who are dedicated to their vocation. They play hard, and they work hard. I found that while many of the presentations were jam-packed with lots of good information, the offline conversations when not in these sessions were also just as informative and educational. As a group, these people are not only happy to share personal details about who they are, but the professional conversations are equally as stimulating.
One such example of this was seeing someone who not thought of as a content strategist, namely m-learning guru, Clark Quinn (@quinnovator on Twitter). He’s written many books on e-learning and m-learning, and I’m familiar with his work. I was surprised to see him at the conference, and at one reception, he looked a little lost since he didn’t know anyone. I knew him, and made sure that I said hello, and introduced him to a few people. I really enjoyed talking to him, and we chatted about some of the common issues going on between both content strategy and e-learning, which is part of what he was researching at the conference. We found a lot of similarities between the disciplines occurring right now. It was a unique opportunity that I knew I couldn’t miss, and that I would kick myself later if I didn’t at least go and say hello to introduce myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that we had, and hope that I didn’t come across to Dr. Quinn as a squeeing fangirl too much!
Conferences, like this one and others, really are a great opportunity not only to learn and build up one’s own knowledge of what’s going on in the outside world, but it truly is an opportunity to
network CONNECT with other people in the tech comm field. Networking seems so superficial to me, whereas connecting and sharing is really a means of bonding with others, either a little bit or a lot. Every time I go to one of these conferences of tech comm professionals, I see my friends and make new friends. It’s nice to have that personal touch, and then later keep in touch through social media between conferences.
A big part of content strategy, these days, is creating greater personalized experiences when interfacing with content. These conferences, whether it’s the Intelligent Content Conference, or any other for that matter, exemplify this concept well. Conferences enable tech comm professionals to personalize their learning experiences through more direct interaction with other tech comm professionals.
All I can say is…you can’t beat it.
(Thanks to Scott Abel, Trey DeGrassi, Ann Rockley, and Eileen Savary for putting together a great conference!)
I’ll post more–along with some photos–as soon as I get back home and get settled back into my routine!