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Investing in Your Future

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Attend a User Conference

It’s December and you are busy planning your holiday celebrations, so why think about work and conferences in 2016? Well, why not? It is a great time to reflect and think about investing in yourself and your business. And one of the best investments you can make is to attend a user conference for your critical software.

A typical user conference is well worth the time and expense of attending as it offers a mixture of education, best practice sharing, networking, and learning about the capabilities of your software. Plus you will get to see and influence the future of the software through spending time with the vendor.

But how do you justify it to the business or your boss? Below are a few suggestions to consider when you are making your case for attending.

  • You are an asset to your company, and all assets require routine maintenance and enhancements. Relate this to how your company manages its other assets.Your skid-steers gets routine preventative maintenance to keep them in top running condition, as well as enhancements like telematics that make them even smarter. So too, does your company need to invest in their human or intellectual assets – aka, you. User Conferences give you the time to get new ideas, learn new skills, and broaden your perspective.
  • Offer to share and create a trip report. Be prepared to learn a lot and ready to share it with your coworkers and colleagues when you return back to the office. You can share what you learned in a number of ways from hosting a training session, to a debriefing at your next team meeting, to sharing copies of presentations and notes.  A written trip report is also an excellent way to share what you have learned. Use the report to summarize your key learnings, take away ideas and best practices you heard. The report doesn’t have to be a 10-page document to be useful, instead opt for a couple page document with pointers, specific suggestions, and relevant URLs.  Short, and to the point, documents are more likely to actually get read and acted upon.
  • Connect the value of the conference to your business goals. If your business goals for the year revolve around deploying technology, sending your people to a conference that increases their expertise and knowledge of that technology is just plain, good for business.  New users and veterans alike are likely to enhance their skills and knowledge by attending the right sessions. Participants also get invaluable insights by networking and sharing with people from other businesses.  And most events are sure to include ample opportunities to meet with the software vendor and get personalized attention.

Those are three good justifications for making attending a user conference a priority in 2016. Invest in yourself and your business next year.

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