For the last couple blog posts about this conference, I’ve been going on (and on and on) about the great conference I just attended, telling you a little about it, partly because I think some of the experience could be interesting to tell about, partly because it’s an illustration about how much any good conference can affect you. Here are the links for the previous posts on this topic: https://outonalims.com/2009/11/19/conference-return-some-tidbits/ https://outonalims.com/2009/11/23/conference-return-more-tidbits/
Now that I’ve returned to my office, I’m pretty fired-up, got lots of ideas for how to provide even better services to my customers and also ideas for how to better run my business.
The organization running the conference, ICCA (Independent Computer Consultants Association) (This group no longer exists so this link has been deactivated, here http://www.icca.org/ ), has just published a book. It’s a book on how to be an excellent consultant, actually written for consultants by consultants. If you know who Jerry Weinberg is (the “consultant’s consultant” in computers and programming) then you’ll possibly be impressed to know he has written a chapter in the book. If you’re interested in the book, it’s on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/1449570216
I had been invited to write a chapter, as well, but had too many commitments at the time it was being produced. However, you’ll find me quoted, twice, in the chapter called “Set Yourself Apart as an Expert.”
Another Good Thing That Happened to Me at the Conference:
One great thing that happened to me is that I attended a session called “Website High Five Strategies” by Philippa Gamse. She had asked the group for volunteers to ask their top web-site questions and to have her review their web-site. I volunteered and ended up getting, not just a lot of great and free advice from her (and she’s probably fairly high-end, as she has an impressive customer list and was just featured on the cover of one of her customers’ in-house magazine, the UPS “Compass” magazine), but she also blogged about me, just the other day:
A little background: I’ve now written so many newsletter and blog articles, plus for some of the magazines, some people now think I’m a professional writer – that that’s how I get paid. If that’s what you think, I’ll tell you that I don’t get paid a cent for any of it. It’s how I drive leads. So, I can’t afford for people to think I’m a writer rather than a consultant, or it defeats the purpose of writing in the first place. In her conference session, I asked her how to counter that and that’s why she blogged about it. For those of you who run businesses who are reading this, you know we spend too much money on our web-sites to have them producing the wrong impression of what it is we do and provide.
My point: If I hadn’t attended the conference, I wouldn’t have gotten all this free advice from her and a plug in her blog. Even without every other piece of great advice I got, just attending her session probably covered my conference attendance fee all on its own.
Side note: For those of you reading this who are business owners, read this other post and think hard about it. She spoke in detail about this at the conference and this response came from the session. Unfortunately, it is usually just too true:
Just For Fun:
This is really off-topic, but I have to tell you about it because it was a lot of fun: for our welcome reception, the conference did an Iron Chef cook-off. The hotel handed a variety of ingredients to two teams, all of the ingredients being a surprise. They had an-hour-and-a-half to decide what to make, to make it, to make it look attractive, and to clean-up. Meanwhile, none of the rest of us were allowed in. The conference hotel set it all up and provided everything necessary.
Then, the conferees were allowed to come in, try the food, and critique it to name a winning team.
Those that participated said they recommend this as a fun event for a conference’s reception and told me the hotel had a blast setting it up and really enjoyed it, too. By the way, yours truly was the color commentator. 🙂