By Paul Flanigan
At this time last year, I was telling the DSA that I would sponsor the Dallas Symposium. Now I’m the Executive Director of the DSA, and responsible for it.
What a difference a year makes.
How many shows have you been to in the past year? A lot? I would need both fingers and toes to count myself. And at the end of every trip, I would ask myself, “Was this worth it?” Coming from so many different sides of the table, my perspective is unique.
It would be easy for me to move from sponsorship to ownership and say, “This is the place you should be.”
This is the place you should be.
Why? Two very good reasons.
You attend because you want to get something out of it. Insight, knowledge, networking, and business. With the Symposium, we have moved in a new direction that focuses on two key components of any valuable conference: Education and Networking.
First, from the educational side, we bring some of the best minds in the digital space to the stage, and listen to them talk about how this all works together, to share their experience and real-world situations. We encourage a discussion among the entire group so that no digital stone is left unturned.
Second, with networking, we have created large breaks and an evening event that allows you to carry on the discussion beyond trading business cards. At the end of the day, you want to go back to work with “to-do’s,” people to call, discussion, and hopefully business.
How about business cards and a handshake? That’s what this is about.
That’s what the Symposium is all about. And that’s what visiting any conference should be about. Education and Networking.
If you’re wondering about the quality of the event, allow the survey we took last year after the Dallas event to explain it.
And here were some of the testimonials from the survey:
- “Best networking I’ve had in a long time between end users. Very open discussions. Even conversations with vendors were non selling, which I appreciated.”
- “A very effective use of my time and value for our money.”
- “We’ll definitely invite and push for all of our clients to attend in the future”
- “Great exposure to people I normally would not get to meet or hear their perspective as a buyer. Very interesting conversations.”
- “I thought all speakers/panelists were high quality, value add. I could find parallels even with industries that were different than mine.”
- “Glad I discovered this meeting. Very worthwhile. Very little preaching to the choir. Real meat as opposed to the tiresome ‘content is king’ or ‘this is the breakout year for digital’ you usually hear.”
- “Do one every quarter. I will sign up every time”
So should you come to the Dallas Symposium on April 8-9? Yes. You’ll walk away with some great insight from some fantastic people who have been there and are doing that. You’ll be able to have in-depth conversations with other attendees and vendors who can help you move from ideas to experiences for your customer.
Because your customer is always right. Right?