Just yesterday, I was speaking to some fellow IT professionals at a Communitech function on the value of conferences. Two of them had just come back from a conference and were telling the rest of us about it. We got to talking about the value of conferences and why they went and what they really got out of it. It's apparent to me, both from attending conferences and talking to others, that on top of the information you get from the sessions and the flexibility to move to another session if the speaker or topic was not what you'd hoped for (thus maximizing time spent getting value), there is another often overlooked benefit. What isn't always apparent before you go, is the intrinsic value of the networking opportunities that conferences afford. The connections you can make at conferences can give you access to people, information and support as IT professionals that you may not find otherwise.
What Stephen probably doesn't realize, based on his last post, is that I'll be seeing him at INFORMATICS in Halifax! My colleague Damir and I will be presenting the Microsoft track on Monday. In the morning we'll be speaking about identity management and giving you some real world solutions to managing and securing user identities. In the afternoon, we'll be talking about managing it all from one console, with a focus on Operations Manager 2007.
If you make it out to beautiful Halifax for INFORMATICS 2007, make sure to come and say hello to Stephen and myself!