The only way to keep growing as a person, and as a professional, is to keep learning. Over the past few years we’ve mostly been relegated to self-directed learning resources like books and other publications. Though those are all very valuable resources, they’re not the same as a live event.
For many of us, live events like conferences haven’t really been much of an option over the past few years. But, as things start to edge their way back toward life as we knew it, more options are starting to emerge.
One very exciting upcoming option is the TISA World: Interact conference. May 16 - 18 is the TSIA World: Interact, live and in person from Orlando! Vanilla will be there learning and sharing: we hope to see you there!
What’s the TISA World: Interact conference?
The TISA World Interact conference is a dual virtual and in-person conference covering multiple aspects of starting, managing, and expanding a XaaS business. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with, and learn from, leaders in the space. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with and learn from peers, to further strengthen their teams, and businesses.
Why you should attend (and how to make the case to your boss)
With XaaS being an emerging business segment, opportunities to connect with others in the space are somewhat limited. The Interact conference not only gives you the opportunity to do that, it also means you’re able to learn from leaders in XaaS, too.
Those attending will be able to bring back valuable insights to their teams, meaning the direct attendee isn’t the only one who benefits. They can also help make new connections with others to set up potential partnership opportunities, to better ensure future success.
Meeting vendors and attendees
As any conference attendee knows, one of the most valuable parts of attending a conference is the connections you make while there. However, for most, networking is easier said than done. With that in mind, here are a few tips you can use to make the most of your time:
- Be present - When you’re talking with people, make sure you’re giving them your full attention. Not only will they be appreciative, but it’ll also help you engage further and learn even more when meeting new people.
- Be open - Conferences can be a lot. Though you do have to be strategic with how you spend your time, you should always leave space open for the unexpected. Sometimes the things we weren’t planning for end up being the most valuable part of the experience.
- Diversify - It’s normal to attend conferences with other teammates, or colleagues from previous jobs. Though it’s nice to catch up, you should do your best to branch out and meet people from different places. For example, you could sit with people you don’t know for lunch each day.
Making your conference itinerary
Whether you’re attending in-person, or virtually, Interact has lots of different events for you to choose from. Though having options is always a good thing, for some it can feel overwhelming. However, there’s a remedy for that: planning.
The best thing you can do to make sure you get the most out of your conference experience is to go in with a plan. About a week or two prior to the conference, make sure you check out the agenda page of the conference website.
Go through each of the days and jot down a few different events that jump out at you. We should note, some events are limited to in-person attendees, so be sure you’re paying attention to that. After you have your initial list, go through any try to narrow things down to the things you’re most excited about, or are most interesting for your circumstance.
That said, we would also encourage you to attend at least one event that’s outside the norm for you. Also, if you’re someone who needs “me time” to recharge, make sure you plan that in, too. It’s easy to want to load your schedule to the max, but if you’re drained when attending an event, it won’t be nearly as valuable for you.
You might also want to think about things to do right after the conference ends. Orlando has all the different Disney theme parks you could check out. Or, if you’re a lover of all things aquatic, you could add Seaworld to your after-conference itinerary.
When attending a conference, especially one like Interact, there’s a wealth of information being shared. Though you may be able to commit some of the basics to memory, retaining details is much more difficult to do.
To make sure you’re able to take as much with you as possible, you should strongly consider taking notes. If you’ve not had to take notes for some time, don’t worry, we have three tips for you below:
Use a bullet point approach - Sometimes we try to write down what a speaker is saying verbatim. However, since we talk much faster than we can write, it’s not particularly possible to do. Instead, you should jot down short phrases to jog your memory.
Ask for slides (or take pictures) - Most presenters use a visual aid when presenting and oftentimes that visual aid is a slide deck of some sort. If you were particularly enamored with a certain talk, consider asking the presenter for a link to their slides. You could also take pictures of the slide during the presentation to preserve them (just make sure your flash is off).
Organize - Even the best notes in the world aren’t useful if you can’t find them. Take some time upfront to create a section for each event, or talk, you attend. Keeping notes organized also makes them easier to share with others.
What Vanilla is offering at Interact
Being able to connect with others – whether it be virtually, or in-person – offers us the opportunity to learn in a way books, and other static resources simply can’t. There’s a longstanding tradition of learning from those who paved the way, and events like Interact are following in that tradition.
So, if you’re looking to learn and connect with others in the XaaS space, we think Interact is something you certainly need to consider. Even though the conference only lasts for a few days, we’re sure the insights, connections, and learnings will continue to prove valuable for a long time to come.