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Kalamazoo X Conference - The Tweets!

If you missed the conference - you missed out on a huge amount of valuable information that every person involved in I.T. needs to know and embrace! The following Twitter search link gives you a little insight of the day - as it occurred by active conference tweeps.

Tweets about the 'X'

More to come...

Day After...

Kalamazoo X Conference logo

Rocks!

Much more to say - but will start here...

Thanks go to each attendee. You surpassed our expectations - both in numbers and quality of a person: one who got involved and participated!

Tremendous thanks to our speakers. Each gave their time and effort to be here to share valuable information. For most of the speakers this meant driving at least 300 miles (one-way) to be here. That's 4-6 hours in their vehicle to speak to our community. And of course, to do that drive again to return to their lives and family. That it unbelievable dedication to support the IT community!

Thanks to the Kalamazoo X Conferences Team! Our team included Michael Eaton (m/c), Mark Gilbert, Michael Markel, Marty Adams, Robert Edmonson, Jason Smeed, Kyle Strong, and oh yes, me (John Burns). This team consisted of people who stepped up to make this event happen in any way they could. None were afraid to talk to people, fill the coolers, the coffee, or even empty the trash.

A special callout to our logo designer: Anne Goodrich who took the idea of a switched up Kalamazoo with the X replacing the Z (idea courtesy of Martin Shoemaker) and making it "cool" (pun intended with the X looking like ice). Our different type of conference became visibly different with the spelling and the surface changeup.

Huge thanks go to our sponsors! There is no way an event goes off like this without sponsors who donate money or "SWAG"! As a first event for Kalamazoo - the team was a little worried during planning, given the state of the economy, that it would be tough to gather up enough sponsors. But step up they did!

I can't say enough about the event and all of the above! More to come...

KalamazooX.org.

7 Days...

This time next week - April 25th - we will be in the midst of the morning talks.

There is still a bit of space available - don't miss out! Get registered today and get yourself out to beautiful SW Michigan in the Spring - Kalamazoo to be exact.

Kalamazoo X Conference logo

April 25th, 2009 - Last chance to register, don't delay.

Designers & Developers will be heading to Southwest Michigan this April for a new kind of conference. Details at KalamazooX.org.

Conferences AKA Opportunities

Conferences... present you with a choice. With due respect to Shakespeare... to go or not to go, that is the question?

What is the cost in both your time and money? The tough part is figuring out the value you will gain by any given conference. Does your schedule fit the conference time frame? Do the goals and sessions fit your educational plans? Do you have the ability to participate?

Whether you’re a new designer or developer, an employee, a consultant, or project leader – conferences hosting sessions geared to our arena are very important. If your employer will provide you the time and budget to attend – you should take advantage of every opportunity. If attendance at a conference is up to you, the decision becomes a bit harder, but attending still provides you the same opportunities.

To me – there are 2 significant benefits for attending any conference, they are...

  • To increase my knowledge on one or more subjects
  • To network with fellow professionals.

...each has the potential to lead to more employment opportunities.

All education requires effort. To increase employment opportunities, "we" must make a personal investment in our own skill development. Seek out opportunities, get involved, and network. Don’t just seek out "free" conferences as that will limit your options. Don’t just go for the S.W.A.G. or a free lunch; given our current economic times, both may be limited or not available. Remember, the true value is the education & networking.

Professional Groups

Networking is easily done... seek out connections via Twitter.com or in your local community. Find a professional group that shares knowledge about subjects that interest you. Participate at code camps or Give Camps.

Great Conferences are Available

Kalamazoo X Conference
Day of .NET (multiple locations)
Code Mash
DevLink
Indy Tech Fest
...there are many others in the mid-West – network and seek them out!

While there are many great conferences across the country, they are not held every day of the week, nor weekend. You need to make the effort to boost your skills. So plan ahead – don’t wait till the last minute. None of us like "last minute Charlie’s" when we create software – so why would you do that to the conference organizers?

Not counting the sponsors who provide the funding for the events, there are many speakers and professional groups that help make each event possible. Like the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, the conferences are built on faith – that is "build it and they will come". Conference teams and speakers plan these events to increase their own skills and give back to their community – but their effort is only rewarded if people like you make the effort to boost your own skills.

Invest in yourself – attend a conference or two!

Sponsorship isn’t just for Big Companies

If you have the financial ability – your sponsor dollars go a long way to making a conference a success. The conference teams truly appreciate your support. Even a conference attendee appreciates you, albeit indirectly.

Being a sponsor doesn’t mean you have to be a large company or that you have to donate thousands of dollars; even a single Ben Franklin (e.g. $100) can go a long way to making a conference a success. So don’t hesitate to toss a few "bills" into the hat. Most conferences are put together by non-profit organizations and your donation may be very useful around April 15th. (Please check with your tax preparer)

Invest in your community – sponsor a conference or two!

What’s that you say...

...all this talk – but "do you participate". Absolutely! I am a member of the planning team for the Kalamazoo X Conference (April 25th) and I have committed to participate for the second time at the Michigan Give Camp – held in Ann Arbor (July), and later this fall, I expect to be at my third Day of .NET – Ann Arbor.

I hope to see you at one of these events!

Hope you participate in one or more events that work for you!

Software Professionals - the X is for you!

Kalamazoo X Conference logo

April 25th, 2009 - Mark your calendar

Designers & Developers will be heading to Southwest Michigan this April for a new kind of conference. Details at KalamazooX.org.