Conferences are key.

Conferences are key.

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With the WCEU conference going down in Berlin between the 20th and 22nd of this month, I thought it would be a great opportunity to shed light on why we here at WebPigment opt to utilise all the fantastic events that come around as opposed to specific team building exercises. These gatherings are tailor-made for companies that specialize in WordPress and so a standard weekend away would be nowhere near as effective for me and my team. With WordCamp, we still get all the fun and bonding of a team building trip, but we are amongst hundreds of others within our own very specialized industry. I always feel a huge sense of synergy when I’m surrounded by other IT professionals at a conference – not just with my immediate team, but my community as a whole. I think of it as hundreds of batteries all charging one another. Besides, weekend jaunts are best reserved for our families and loved ones back home. Save the holidays for them, I say!

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In our busy social media crazy world, we often forget the importance of being in a live face-to-face setting. Being active and present in the industry can bring with it many benefits.  There is power in being connected to other likeminded people within the same sphere. We believe that these WordCamp events (among others) are a great way to bring a team together and grow as a unit.

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Here are five more reasons I take my team on these conferences:

1. Educational opportunities.

No matter how experienced we are, everyone can learn.  Working in a small business venture can often be isolating, and without exposure to a variety of points of view, we can miss new ideas and trends that can impact future results.  The educational aspect of conferences often exposes us to new approaches and helps us discover how to be more productive.

2. Networking with peers

Industry conferences provide a great opportunity to network.  Often competitors can become valuable resources for new ideas, helpful mutually profitable connections and healthy competitive motivation.  Avoiding peers for fear of others discovering your competitive advantage can actually limit your own success.  Collaboration is the way to approach networking.

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3. Encounter new technology and methods.

It’s all well and good keeping up to date via the web, but it’s easy to get trapped in your echo chamber. Stepping out onto the floor, we are far more likely to stumble across something we never would have thought of looking for.

4. Position yourself as an expert.

By being active in our industry, we can develop a reputation as an expert to our peers and clients.  If we are engaged over the long term, we’re more likely to be asked to speak at the events and to put together seminars and the like. Clients feel good about doing business with those that are celebrated by their peers.

5. Have fun. 

Surely the best way to bond and build team morale is by having fun! The WordCamp after parties are legendary and it’s here that a lot of valuable relationships can be struck up and solidified. Some of our fondest memories in recent years have been from these social wind-downs.

Conferences are beneficial on so many fronts and we try to get our team out to as many as possible.

WordCamp has made WebPigment and the WordPress community beyond unimaginably stronger.

Let’s go, Berlin!