Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director and guest blogger for View from the Q this month is curious about the noted increase in conference traffic and similar meeting events like the recent ASQ Word Conference on Quality & Improvement. She mentions content and networking as the two reasons discovered from the feedback. I’m going to say that I’m a little surprised networking isn’t number one simply because you can fairly easily replicate content via webinars or various YouTube sources. What makes these events unique is absolutely the networking.
Here’s the deal…
1) Social networking is amazing, yes. But, there’s a pretty specific demographic that’s fully integrated into this mode and are using it to its potential. In order to reach these people and maybe even get them started with the online stuff is necessary to keep moving here. Also, putting a face with a name when it’s someone you’ve been talking with online for some time is fun.
2) Meeting people who share my passion for something is a great feeling. We tend to spend a lot of time doing what we do, and many of us in the quality profession carry that into our personal lives as well. Having a conversation about Deming or making DOE jokes isn’t something you get to do every day!
3) Personal feedback is invaluable. Chatting with someone that is experiencing similar issues offers up a totally unbiased sounding board that presents fresh ideas and perspectives. That’s hard to get in an online experience, but discussion boards come very close. The one-on-one creates a smooth flow of ideas and some good “eureka” moments.
4) Everyone needs motivation. At live events, there’s a certain momentum created that carries on for quite some time. You get full of ideas and stories of success and just feel like you’re leaving there knowing that positive things are going to happen.
5) You can step out of the box. Getting away to join in one of these events takes you away from your daily habits. It gives you a chance to really focus and be involved. In a world of multi-tasking and compulsive send>receiving, dedicating some time to networking is a good thing.
For me, networking is an intensely fun experience, no doubt!