I’ve been in tech a long time—in roles throughout product management and product marketing—but the most fun thing I get to do every year is still attending my company’s user conference. They’re the best three days I spend professionally every year.
User conferences are fun in part because they’re big love-fests (clients who are mad at you don’t come) and in part because the clients who do come make the trip because they have a specific problem they think we can solve. Sometimes that solution comes in the form of product—but sometimes it comes from a session speaker. Sometimes it comes from a random conversation on the tradeshow floor. Some solutions even come while balancing a plate of hor d’oeuvres and a drink during the evening events.
Software AG’s annual user conference, Innovation World, was unlike anything I’ve attended before. The truly international attendance, the even split between tech-y sessions (showing architecture schematics) and business sessions (showing ROI) and tech-y and business attendees—all of it provided attendees with opportunities to explore the scope of problems they could solve. Plus, the “work hard/play hard” approach made the sessions energizing and the evening events great chances to blow off some steam.