I admit it. I like going to conferences. I like the travel, despite the annoyances at the airport and the seemingly ever-shrinking seats on the flights. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I could live the travelling salesman's lifestyle. I have a wife and kids who I adore, and I happen to like seeing them at the end of the workday. But, because I'm selective about the conferences I attend, I still enjoy them.
As it happens, Protech Fusion is one of my favorites. Still freshly back from D.C., I'm already looking forward to 2015.
Why?A few key reasons:
1. In my line of work I spend the bulk of my day on the phone or typing on a computer. I love what I do, but it is really nice to get away from my desk and to meet folks who I've been talking to face-to-face. We have a lot clients in the D.C. area, and many of them attend Fusion. It's great to sit down over a beer and just talk with them. We can cover work, but I enjoy getting to know my clients on a personal level and I value the chance to have that kind of interaction and connection.
2. I'm a sucker for praise. At this year's conference, several people introduced themselves starting the conversation with "I was just sitting next to so-and-so, and she or he said if I'm going to do a new site, I have to use you..." There is nothing like unsolicited praise to lift your spirits and make you feel good about what you do. I'm very proud of the talented team of developers I represent, and I love hearing other people value their work.
3. The folks who come to Fusion are equally happy to be there. I don't think I talked to a soul who wasn't getting genuine value out of the conference. They were there to learn. Not just from Protech, but from the other users - some of whom have been with Protech for over 20 years!
My understanding is that this year's Fusion broke the attendance record. I certainly met with a lot of clients and future clients while I was there. Given how much Protech learns from and acts on the feedback they get, I imagine that next year will be even bigger. I honestly can't wait.
UPDATE: There will be no Fusion 2015. Instead, Protech will hold its next Fusion Customer Conference in May 2016. The event will be held at a new location and earlier in the year. See you in May 2016!
May 11-12, 2016
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Crystal City, Virginia