Why I Go To Conferences

Mamacita says:  I’ve done a lot of writing for clients these past nine years, and it’s extremely important to me that I do it exactly right – I want my clients to look at my work and think, “Yes, that’s what I wanted. That’s precisely what I had in mind.”

When I take on a client – or, rather, when a client takes on me – promises are made. My day job is teaching expository writing at a community college, so I promise every client that each and every piece of writing I do for him/her will be grammatically correct, and that every word will be spelled properly. This might sound trivial to some of you, but believe me, it is not trivial. Grammatical mistakes and misspelled words on a business level can be disastrous. I tell my students constantly that if there is a misspelled word or a grammatical error on anything presented to the public, that same public had best COUNT THEIR CHANGE, because errors in the front where all can see them usually mean even worse errors in the back where the public can’t see them.  

I believe that everyone in all career paths owes it to himself/herself and to those who hired him/her to keep skills updated at all times. This goes for teachers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, mechanics, IT, underwriters, salespeople. . . . everyone. Much of this updating and upgrading can be one on one’s own, of course, but a conference is an excellent opportunity to learn best practices, new practices, innovations, and experiences from professionals, advisors, and people who do what you do and have therefore “been there, done that.”

The two conferences I love best are BlogHer and MixWest.

I go to both of these conferences, but I go for different reasons.  The skills, networking, and connections I make at BlogHer are very different from the skills, networking, and connections I make at MixWest.  If both conferences were alike, I would need to go to only one.

BlogHer has come and gone for 2013, but MixWest is next week, and I highly recommend that you go to its website RIGHT NOW and register, because MixWest (formerly Blog Indiana) is where I have picked up more useful skills than in all my years of graduate school.  I am not exaggerating.

Social media, marketing, tech, design – if your area of business uses any of these things, you will find much at MixWest that will enhance your business.  That’s a promise.

Oh, and if there is such a thing as a business or institution of any kind that does NOT use social media, marketing, tech, or design, somebody is a big fat liar.  EVERY business needs all of those things, and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently, be that ‘anyone’ an individual or board of any kind.  Learn to use these things or your business will start circling the drain.  If you personally can’t be arsed to learn or do them, hire someone who can and will.  (Hello!)

BlogHer and MixWest are my conferences of choice for summer 2013, but there are many other conferences as well.  Pick a few and start going regularly.  You’ll be surprised at how fast your business will benefit from just a little more savvy in these areas.

Hospitals, schools, stores, companies. . .  EVERY business benefits from social media, marketing, tech, and design.  If a business has these things locked down, there is something seriously wrong somewhere inside the premises.

Most importantly, for me, are the contacts you will make – people you will see regularly at conferences year after year.  Ultimately, it is people who help people.  I have met many people who have helped me, enriched me, and shoved me through doors that have benefited me in too many ways to list here.  I hope to sit by some of them once again in just a few days.

Maybe YOU could be at our table, too.  That would be bloody awesome.

Science in the Rockies

P.S.  If you are a teacher, parent, volunteer, tutor, Scout leader, or anyone else who works with people, your best conference would be Science in the Rockies.  Don’t be fooled by the word “science,” because this conference will teach you how to mix it up in all areas of curriculum and interest.  There is science in literature, and literature in geography, and geography in history, and history in astronomy and astronomy in politics and politics in education and education in, well, EVERYTHING. . . . etc. etc. etc. and throughout all aspects of the universe.  Sign up for next year now; this one fills up fast.  (Okay, this conference is my ultimate favorite.  It’s such a little or a lot of everything.)



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