Social Media Conferences: What’s Your Poison?
The choices can be overwhelming when it comes to conferences related to technology and social media. Focus can range from application development, Twitter and blogging to TED and beyond.
Since my work schedule isn’t always predictable, so far I’ve registered for local events such as Gnomedex, TweetHouse’s 140 Conference, and Social Media 201. Local events mean no worries about travel and hotels, so if for some reason I can’t attend, the financial consequences aren’t dire.
How Do You Find What’s Happening?
Sometimes it seems as though the only people who know about upcoming events are those who have attended them in the past. So how do you find out what is happening and where? Beside paying attention to what’s trending on Twitter, in the U.S. and some parts of Europe, you can search for local chapters of Social Media Club and often you can find out about events happening year you.
Recently a friend turned me on to a site called Conference Guru, which has a fairly comprehensive list of upcoming events all over the world. It also offers “deals” on some events, and even has a feature to “request a deal,” where, if there are no discounts for the event you’re interested in, Conference Guru will inquire on your behalf.
Conferences give us the opportunity to learn about new tools, skills, and other aspects of our work and lives, but there are added bonuses, including the chance to meet new people who share our interests, and sometimes we get to connect in real life with friends we’ve met only virtually.
How Do You Decide?
There are myriad special-interest conferences for gaming, electronics, social media or entertainment, and you can weigh whether you want to dip your toe into water with something small, or jump in head first with something big. So how do you decide?
I’ve always been in awe of the brainiacs who create applications, tools or services that enhance our productivity, improve our lives, or simply provide enjoyment. So I registered for Deploy, a conference with a lens on what’s current and what we can anticipate in emerging technologies. It’s here in Seattle, put together by Chris Pirillo, founder of Lockergnome and Gnomedex, and Seattle 2.0, an entity that cultivates the Seattle tech startup industry.
By identifying areas that interest you or finding an event that will help you hone your skills, you can start thinking about the times of year that might work best for you, and take advantage of early registrations, travel and lodging deals, and even check with your boss to see if he or she might be willing to cover the cost. Even though I know Chris and might have been able to snag a comp ticket, I bought one instead.