Five Reasons to Attend Professional Development Conferences

Professional development is key to keeping up with the fast-paced, ever-changing technology world. And business conferences are a valuable way to expand your skill set and gain new insight.

Articles published May 30, 2019 by Mike Rice

With an abundance of information at our fingertips today, it can be easy to find answers to questions online and make connections digitally. We are lucky to have such easy access to networks and information. But the rise of technology has not diminished the power of professional development conferences and the in-person community they provide. Rather than interacting digitally, conferences harness the power of having individuals with similar interests gathered in the same place. From business networking to industry best practices, conferences offer professionals the opportunity to learn from peers and leaders alike and forge useful connections. 

In Iowa, many organizations host professional conferences throughout the year that offer benefits for professionals in all aspects of technology. Aureon recently sponsored and had staff attend two such events, IBADD (the Iowa Business Analysis Development Days) and DevopsDays Des Moines.

Here are five of the reasons technology professionals can benefit from attending these conferences or other similar professional development events.

1. Industry Promotion

An industry-specific gathering is a great place to showcase the best of your industry.  Sponsorships, networking, and programming all offer the opportunity to highlight the latest technological advances or trail blazing companies and help reinvigorate attendees about their industry.

DevopsDays is a worldwide series of tech conferences promoting software development, infrastructure and all areas between. Hosted by the Central Iowa Chapter of International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), IBADD offers Iowans information focused on business analysis, quality assurance, and project management. Ideas generated during DevopsDays and IBADD have led to new ways of thinking and advancing technology.

“The IBADD conference plays a vital role in growing and promoting the business analyst field in Des Moines and across Iowa,” said Aureon attendee Michele Johnson. “Business analysts from across the state can learn about new developments in their field, common practices, and ideas on how to grow personally and professionally. This all helps to make Iowa a leader in technology.”

2. Business Networking Opportunities

A huge benefit to professional development conferences is that they offer a chance for business networking. Whether reconnecting with old acquaintances, meeting collaborators face-to-face for the first time, or having a thought-provoking discussion with a panelist or industry thought leader, making connections and conversation with those in similar roles and fields can be invaluable.

“IBADD is a great event for the Des Moines area because it brings together multiple companies and individuals who have similar roles and allows them to collaborate, share, and learn,” said Aureon attendee Claire Pierce. “Many of the sessions fostered conversation, networking, and best practices.”

3. Identify New Vendors

Just as conferences provide the opportunity to connect with peers, they also are a great place to connect with new partners or vendors in your field. Conference sponsors and other supporting businesses often have booths or reps out on the floor who are eager to provide you with information and answer any questions about how they might be able to help you.

Whether or not a business relationship evolves, evaluating new partners or vendors in your field can lead to new connections and help generate fresh ideas. 

4. Stay up to Speed on Industry Best Practices

Beyond collaborative conversation, conferences offer a chance to get real reviews on some of the latest products, programs, and methods of development straight from the source. 

A large industry gathering is a wonderful place to learn about the latest and greatest in that industry. Hear from thought leaders and innovators about best practices and learn what may or may not be working for others in your field. 

5. Relevant Information You Can Use Now

Sessions and workshops at professional development conferences typically cover a variety of topics ranging from career growth and self-awareness to Agile development and crowdsourcing technology. Many sessions and workshops provide tips and resources that can be instantly adopted and implemented within your team.

When it’s all over, you can walk away from a conference feeling fired up and filled with useful information and new contacts you can take back to your team.

“It’s so important for Aureon to have a presence at these types of conferences to ensure our staff can stay ahead of industry trends and remain a leader in technology,” said Mary Ross of Aureon.

See when Aureon Consulting will be at an event near you.

About The Author

Mike Rice

Mike Rice, president of Aureon Consulting, is responsible for Consulting’s strategic growth, leadership and business operations. Prior to being appointed President, Mike was the Vice President of Aureon Consulting (previously Midwest Project Partners), and a founding partner of Midwest Tech ... read more

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