I had a great time at the LavaCon Workshop on Unified Content Strategy in New Orleans. Thank you, Jack Molisani, for putting together the best of the best speakers together for this workshop. I deeply enjoy LavaCon because the conference and workshops are just the right size with a mix amazing professionals in the fields of technical communication, management, and marketing. Also, going to New Orleans was quite fun!
Here’s my reflection on attending LavaCon.
Learn from others
What fascinates me the most is learning how other people work with others and to hear their experiences. At a conference, I may hear a few case studies, yet at a workshop, there is more to learn beyond case studies. For example, I really enjoyed the three exercises that built upon team work, management, and communication–each integral aspects of Content Strategy.
Some technical writers are shy. One of my best and trusted colleagues is shy. I know I fall into the realm of being shy and social and it depends on the situation and who I’m with. For the most part, I actively listen and learn from what others say. I noticed that even adding a comment and engaging with the speaker was definitely worth it. Since the workshop has a hands-on element, if you participate–you will get more out of it than you first realize.
There was never a shortage of questions. I wish I asked more questions during the sessions. Part of being extremely new to the field is that I haven’t encountered the A-Z list of scenarios at the workplace. In addition, I have experienced some interesting workplace dynamics which I’ve learned how to manage and recover from. At the next conference, I will make it a priority to ask more questions in the future.
Keep an open mind
The reason why we attend workshops is to learn. Because we come from a variety of different backgrounds, such as marketing, management, computer science, writing, editing, and communication, we have different interpretations for how we understand Content Strategy. Each interpretation of Content Strategy may differ from one another, but we can add them together to build a better definition. I definitely have expanded my definition of Content Strategy after the last two conferences.
Build your network
Lastly, I will hit the networking game on Twitter and LinkedIn and to connect with everyone I met. I love how we have common interests and the social channels are available to professionally network. After LavaCon, I’m always happy to expand my network and include wonderful professionals which I will later meet at other conferences throughout the year. The advantage of connecting professionally with colleagues is you will open up new career opportunities for the future.
Later this month, I will write another post about the LavaCon Workshop group activities and what I observed. In the meantime, see more about what happened at LavaCon, check out the #LavaCon Twitter Feed and Andrea Ames’ SlideShare Slides. Also, learn more about the LavaCon 2013 Conference and I look forward to seeing you in Portland, OR in October.