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Richard Harper

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Why do people attend Conferences?

Looking to better understand the motivators for attending a Conference and how that has changed over the years. Or has it?

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  • Mar 5 2013: At Microsoft, we had a specific purpose for conferences (particularly the technical ones).
    You went to see technical presentations that you knew the least about.
    Most of the talks are introductory or intermediary at best. If you really wanted to babble in-depth with a subject matter expert, they are usually available for "roundtable discussions" between sessions and at lunch.
    The other reason to go to conferences is to network with people similar to yourself in other companies or other divisions (depending on the conference)
    Microsoft conferences are always someplace hot like New Orleans in July, or San Diego in July or Florida in July....so it sure ain't the scenery or the climate
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    Mar 6 2013: To get out of the office, break the routine, your company paid or you really like the subject...
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    Mar 5 2013: In descending order of occurrence: #1:The company is paying and I need something to do. #2: The boss said "Go". #3: I might gain some social or professional advantage over my competition. #4: I really want to understand the subject better.
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    Mar 7 2013: Time killer
  • Mar 6 2013: Learning ,improving together,sharing with each other.
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    Mar 5 2013: It's a way of learning and building and enhancing relationships with people with whom one can exchange ideas for mutual benefit. While one can gather some of the same material online or by phone, the conference provides a greater sense of community and a critical mass for different kinds of fruitful multiparty exchanges of ideas. Collaboration may be easier in that setting.