We live in the digital age. You can see it all around you. Even in your own homes, it is cluttered with various tech gadgets that were yet unknown a few years back or not as widely used as it is now. And where is the best place to learn more about the current technology and those that are still in the works but in tech conferences? When it comes to tech conferences, expect things to be not the usual pen and paper type approach. There will be more technology subtly intertwined in the agenda and in everything you see around you. After all, these people are selling tech concepts and gadgets, so consumers and experts should be able to see a powerful presentation of these technologies to convince them that these technologies will be worth their time and money.
Technology is fast-changing and evolving into something even more complex and dynamic than the ones we are now using. These tech conferences are a great avenue for those who have a keen interest in technology because it gives them a chance to see and even get to play with these gadgets before they even hit the market. Entrepreneurs who attend these events have a higher chance of transforming their brand into something so timely and relevant to the needs of the people.
Last fall I participated on a panel at The Harvest Summit, which invites “innovators, influencers, and tastemakers” to spend a day at a private ranch in Sonoma County networking, pitching new ideas, and yes, drinking wine. There was the requisite panel discussion on innovation and a small swarm of venture capitalists milled around, armed with craft beers, paradoxically seeking their own. But most of the activities were held en plein air. Breaks between sessions featured vertical tastings from small batch wineries as servers navigated the crowd offering Manchego cheese cubes and vegan tapas. There was a yoga class. And a spaceship.
It was a refreshing change, to be sure, and well-covered by media. (Even famously buttoned-up Forbes.com published a piece on what to wear to the Harvest Summit.) But it wasn’t the first of its kind. “I wanted to gather analysts, vendors, and consultants who were all too used to the conference grind, and get them away from the circuit,” explains Scott Humphrey, president of Humphrey Strategic Communications and consigliere of the Pacific Northwest BI and Analytics Summit.“It’s amazing the truths that emerge when you put a domain experts in shorts and t-shirts, hand them a drink, grab a chair at the fire pit, and then bring up advances in deep learning.”
For instance, data science is the technology of today and is defining the way things work in the industry. These tech conferences are also the perfect place to get to know new people and build your network, something you won’t be able to do if you stay cooped up in the office. Many times those who go to these events come back full of new ideas that can help them become more efficient and effective at work. And the possibility of learning about new and better tools is perhaps the biggest driver for people to come to these events.
Conferences have served as crucial hubs for scientific communication for at least four centuries. They provide an essential platform that facilitates collaboration and disseminates information, and they enable researchers to gain feedback on early-stage work. They also train scientists and set standards for quality.
And yet the staples of scientific conferences — presentations and poster sessions — can provide only snapshots of ongoing work. This is exacerbated by the complexity of scientific technologies, richness of acquired data and sophistication of data-analysis methods, all of which are ever-growing. As a result, attendees can find it difficult to evaluate presented results and interpret the findings. This hinders their ability to give feedback to colleagues and to decide how to incorporate findings into their own work.
Most conferences you can attend these days are full of all sorts of gimmicks and they are mostly digital as well. From the announcement to the booking and registration, expect all things to be computerized. Many concepts we may already be familiar with or have heard of somewhere no longer remain to be alien concepts but something more real and tangible as you get to learn about them first-hand, mostly from people who made these things themselves. If you haven’t been to such an event yet, now is the best time to pay a visit as technology is what makes the world go round these days and definitely in the years to come.