First, The Advantage User’s Conference is in Orlando this year. May 19 – 22 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort.
Second, I live in Las Vegas, which has hosted over 4.9 million attendees in over 21,000 conferences in 2012. (The last Advantage User’s Conference was here in 2011.) And thanks to all who believe in the value of attending conferences (and checking out what’s going on after hours), our economy is starting to turn around. Thank you, thank you very much.
Now, conferences are a good thing. Especially when you actually attend the sessions.
I’ve had the opportunity to attend many, and speak at a few sessions at The Advantage User’s Conference in the past. Won’t be attending this year though (sad face).
So, go. Advantage consistently has awesome attendees. Most have the same agenda: Get more information – both from the break-out sessions and from like-minded attendees. Plus, Advantage will be unveiling their latest software version: Sapphire. Ooohhh. Ahhhhh.
Geeks like me get excited over this stuff.
Listen – here’s how to get the most out of the Advantage conference:
Plan ahead – go through
your program guide and decide ahead of time what sessions to attend
Bring business cards – share, take notes. Some of the best information is shared by other users
Charge-up – all of your electronics ahead of time. It can be really hard to find an outlet for recharging
Bring note paper or your laptop to take notes – note paper is usually supplied, but it’s only big enough for a phone number (just in my opinion)
Bring a sweater / wear layers – the air conditioning can feel like a walk-in cooler. I’m not kidding
Pay attention – I know that taking a few days away from the office is really hard. Catch up between sessions (they’re only 1:15 hours long – and if you can’t be away for a little over an hour, we really need to talk)
Gather business cards – again share – and keep in touch
Questions for the speaker – The Q & A portion of any session always seems too short. If you have more questions, give the speaker your business card with your question written on it, or attached to a note – most speakers get inundated with questions between sessions (I did), so give the speaker a chance to get back to you with thoughtful answers
Seek-out attendees from your break-out sessions – meet over coffee (or a drink) and discuss not only things Advantage related, but just how your agency runs the day-to-day. You’ll discover that all our stories are pretty similar…
Enhancement Ideas – is there a functionality you would like? Ask the session leader – they will note it. Also, as an Advantage user, you can go into your client login on their website and make your request
There are a lot of parameters to using Advantage, and I’ve met my share people who *discover* different ways to apply the hundreds of tools available. Some may be work-arounds –and that’s where you can help them get better use of everything Advantage has to offer. In my experience, everything I’ve gathered from my colleagues over the years at conferences has been invaluable.
And…should you use a conference to work in a little vacation – good for you. Just be sure you absorb all that good information out there. It’s included in the price of admission.
Need help? I’m here for you.