Another service management
conference is underway (Fusion16) and unfortunately some of us are not able to
attend for one reason or another. Fortunately there are several conferences
which exist to meet your needs which means you may be able to attend another one
down the road.
In general, whether you are not able to attend a conference as a
result of time availability, corporate financial constraints, or geography
(personally I am always dying to speak in Europe) how can you get value today
without attending while still building a case for attending the next conference.
Firstly look at the agenda for the conference which you can’t
make. Take note of the presenters or vendors that want to see and think what
specifically would be the benefit for attending their presentation. It may be
possible that the material is being presented in another venue which might
address the constraints for your inability to attend this conference.
In addition the presenter may already have the content already
uploaded on Brighttalk, SlideShare or on their own site. While you may not get
the same context as seeing this line you may be able to view the content and
then connect with the presenter in a form of social media to ask any questions
you might have.
Unfortunately one of the things that many conferences have which
may be more difficult to reproduce is a workshop. However it is possible that
there are others in your community which are also unable to attend this
conference and there may be interest in the same workshop material. Check your
local training organizations or consultants; they may have similar workshops
available. Alternatively if you’re not already a member you should consider
joining an organization like itSMF, Business Relationship Management Institute or ISACA to name a few and connect with people
in your area and organize regional activities.
The other component of a conference which may be hard to reproduce
is the networking. While it is not the same as face to face, connecting with
social media will allow you to broaden your horizons and get valuable insights
into global service management challenges rather than local ones. It will also
give you the ability to connect with pundits who have had vast amounts of
experience in culturally diverse situations.
conferences are put together the same. So really look at what content they are
presenting and how you and your organization will benefit from you (and
possible your team) from attending. In my experience trying to get management
to sign off on you going to Las Vegas for example can be a battle in itself. So
you really need to market this to them in a way which leaves them saying “who
else should we send?”
Link up the reasons for attending to address challenges for your
business. You could phrase it like “one of our top challenges at “Our Co” is that
we don’t have a good sense of understanding our business, there are two
presentations and a half day workshop which might help us to improve this.”
This type of preparation will get you farther than just blindly asking to
attend. Also the materials you see in the conference are generally attainable
and you could share them with your team upon your return. Marketing is
In summary, despite the fact if you
can attend a conference or not, there are vast quantities of information out
there for you to leverage. Poke around, ask questions and get involved.
Labels: IT Conferences, ITIL, ITSM, Networking, Service Management