What does attending a conference actually mean to a person?
Many things may be gained from an attended testing-related conference (as well as any other conference). Knowledge, new experience, etc., as the list may go on and on. But attending a conference may prove as quite an expensive activity due ticket and accommodation expanses as well as time you are spending away from your daily chores, tasks and jobs. What a waste if the conference was lousy, right? Well, there is no such thing as a lousy conference actually because there are testers there, business owners, experienced speakers that have a lot to offer. You may have simply been attending a conference in a wrong way, that’s it.
What is the right way of attending any conference?
- Getting prepared before you even leave your apartment is essential.
- Plan your visit appropriately.
- Go through the conference’s schedule and speakers, decide which subjects are of most interest to you.
- Try making a schedule of your own which will be your guide developed according to personal preferences.
- Give advantage to seminars and discussions that are new to you, rather than listening to the things you already know over again.
- What to do when you are actually at the conference?
- Be active! Ask questions on the seminar you are listening to (as long as you are not interrupting anybody and are not breaking the order of things there).
- The schedule you have made before you left home is more of a guideline. Don’t be afraid to shift it if something new comes up.
- Don’t be afraid to leave any seminar or event that bores or has no value to you as there are always more things to see.
- Real magic is happening in the hallways, on lunch or at a coffee-break. Just talk to other visitors of the conference, share, and ask questions. That is where you will really learn most of the new goodness you will implement in your work. Plus you may make good friends or employers/employees as well as business partners.
- Make notes of everything that has interested you in the best fitting way. You may Tweet things, note them down to your laptop or doodle on a piece of paper. All means are great as long as they help you memorize new information.
- What to do afterwards?
- Whatever the activity that makes you feel happy. Write a blog post, or simply wear a T-shirt from the conference. As long as you are improving your workflow with newly gained skills.