Earlier this week I posted some thoughts on DailySocial on whether it’s worth attending conferences, especially technology-oriented conferences.
In it I said that the contents of conferences generally aren’t worth the money you pay to attend because you’ll more likely come across them on the Internet one way or another. Often the keynotes or talks are posted online via streaming, live blogs, look backs, or podcasts. Photos are almost always abound.
What makes conferences worth attending, I argued, are the connections you make with fellow attendees whether they’re new acquaintances or friends that you rarely catch up with and the chance to meet or rub shoulders with other people in the industry.
In San Francisco this past few days was Macworld | iWorld, the latest incarnation of the long-running Macworld Expo. Stephen Hackett at 512 pixels posted his own thoughts about attending the conference.
Again, the talks and speeches at Macworld can be found online, but what he found most valuable is the chance to catch up with a lot of people that he wold not have otherwise met in person on a regular basis.
As he said,
I learned that people I know from the Internet are real people and – more importantly – that our friendships are real, even though we don’t see each other most of the time