Benefits of User Conferences
Being an ERP and IT Consultant, we are faced with the decision several times a year of what technology user conferences to attend. Our choice is a little easier because there is value in attending the user conferences of our most valued partners. But as an end user in an organization, the decision to attend a conference is not as clear. User conferences offer a lot of benefits for end users, the reasons to attend differ for most.
Here are some benefits a user conference can offer:
- Increased opportunities to learn about the specific solution you have implemented within your business or are planning to implement in the future.
- Network with your peers. You can share ideas and experiences. You can learn a lot from understanding challenges other organizations may have faced and how they solved them.
- Understand technical insights that can help you reduce costs, increase your ROI, and deal with compliance issue.
- Various education sessions that go into great detail about specific functionality of the business software. You can select and attend only the sessions that you are interested in. Most times there are Q&A’s at the end of each, so you have the opportunity to get your specific questions answers, as well as learn from others questions.
- Learn about shortcomings in software tools. Often times Manufacturers aren’t forthcoming with issues with their software. They will take the opportunity at their user conference to address them and offer solutions. They choose to do it this way as it a more controlled environment. Those not attending typically lose out on this information.
- Experiment with new hardware and software. Many times at user events, upcoming releases of products are often presented and users have the opportunity to see these solutions showcased and at times, get to sit in the driver’s seat and experiment with the product at their own hands.
- Outside of all the education you will gain, you also usually get free stuff. Everyone loves free stuff! Usually, it means free thumb drives, pens, knickknacks, water bottles, and other cool little gadgets that can be fun to have around the office. Maybe you will even get a bag or t-shirt.
- Exclusive offers. Technology companies are often beta testing their upcoming services and/or products. Attending a conference is a great way to get access to a closed beta as many of these companies are searching for beta testers with some demonstrated passion about the product. It is common also to get a promo code to enter a drawing of some sort. You can also purchase products at discounted rates.
As you can see, there are various different reasons you may want to consider attending a user conference. Knowledge is a very valuable asset to have and any opportunity you are faced where you can gain this, is one that you should consider. Whether that knowledge happens to be the latest games, or an instructional course on the future of cloud computing, a conference attendee is able to take in information in a way that reading an article or joining a conference call just doesn’t come close to.
2W Tech is a certified Epicor ERP partner and will be attending their Insights conference in Las Vegas next month. If you are an Epicor ERP user, you should consider attending this conference. Epicor will have educational sessions on both Epicor 10 and Epicor 10.1, as well as many other ERP related topics. If you are attending the event and would like to meet, let us know.