Mamacita says: I love to attend conferences; I don’t know how people “keep up” with all the new “stuff” in any profession without going forth and finding out. Quite honestly, I believe that to fully appreciate the honing of one’s skills by attending conferences, we simply must attend more than one kind of conference.
In other words, we attend some conferences for certain reasons, and we attend other conferences for other reasons. Often, these reasons overlap, and just as often, they do not. Don’t expect every professional need you have to be satisfied by every conference; you need more than one, to wit, a combo of conferences.
In the long run, however, by attending various types of conferences for various reasons, I have learned far more than I ever learned in graduate school.
At first, everyone at every conference was new to me; even those whose blogs and websites I’d been reading for a while, but had not actually met, seemed new in many ways. No matter what kind of conference it was, though, I felt I already knew these people somewhat because of their online presence.
Now, since I’m no longer a conference newbie – well, not as much of one as before – I feel almost as if it’s Old Home Week when I go to a conference. It’s wonderful to see familiar faces, and just as wonderful to see unfamiliar faces which I know will be familiar at the NEXT conference. I’m far from being an A-list writer, but the actual A-list people don’t seem to know how A-list they are and are really, really nice. (This attitude can be different, though, depending on what kind of conference you’re attending and what kind of expectations you bring to the table.)
I guess you might say I’m thoroughly hooked on conferences.
They have greatly enhanced my ability to do my writing gigs, my social media gigs, my watchdog gigs, my teaching gigs, my help-my-students-become-writers gigs, and my time-to-surf-and-find-new-things gigs.
At each conference, I’m agig agog at the awesomeness of the attendees and presenters. I’ve never met such smart people in my life.
For a small-town chick like me, it’s been a whole new world. Alert Aladdin at once.
Another reason I love conferences is that because I’m a small-town chick, there really isn’t anybody close to home who understands what I do for a living. At conferences, I can have actual conversations with actual people who actually understand!
Conferences help me hone my mad skillz. Come with me next time and we’ll hone together.