A piece of IT/Dev Connections that rarely gets talked about is actually one of the more important characteristics in my opinion, and is another major reason why the event is purposely architected the way it is. A lot of business leaders look to the Keynote Conferences for guidance on how to invest resources, time and money for technology planning for the next 6 months to a year. I hear from folks all the time who really, truly want to attend IT/Dev Connections but say their management believes that only a vendor’s event can produce the desired results. And, that’s a monstrously huge misconception.

The problem here is that once the vendor announcements have been made (usually in the first couple days) and the Keynote Conference week is over, the perceived value sort of fizzles out within a week or so after the attendee returns to the job. There’s no meat left on the bone. Attendees come back to work, share their newfound knowledge about products that might or might not emerge in the next year, and then get back to trying to figure out how to fix the same company technology problems they left.

EXTRA: What is a Keynote Conference? Learn about that HERE.

IT/Dev Connections is different and addresses this directly by ensuring that our content is not driven by keynotes. We have a very unique position in the industry with our sister technology sites like WindowsITPro, SQL Server Pro, SharePoint Pro, Dev Pro, myITforum, Data Center Knowledge, and others, that allows us to have a firm grasp of the key industry trends and prevalent themes through our millions of engaged members. We know, possibly better than most, what your company is working through in the face of both aging and emerging technologies.

So, while IT/Dev Connections does offer a catalog of structured tracks filled with sessions, it’s not a script intended to sell a product. Our conference is more like a week-long training session where attendees get to pick the topics that will help them solve their technology problems immediately. In fact, we regularly see attendees exit live sessions briefly to repair an outstanding problem remotely that they just learned how to fix.

When an IT/Dev Connections attendee returns to work, they carry with them pages and pages of notes from sessions, workshops, and side conversations in the hallways, from attendee breakfasts and lunches, and from community networking activities. These pages of notes are filled with details on how to fix lingering problems, but also how to make the business technology function better, work more consistently, and adapt to the constantly changing needs of the organization. And, instead of just announcing new products, our speakers deep-dive into how to actually use those products and make sense of them, so, together you and your IT engineer, developer, or DevOps can make better, more informed decisions about which technologies to implement. You’ll experience a lot less of “let’s try this and see if it works for us” and more of a solid, focused business technology strategy for both immediate and long term applications.

If the business technology flat out works, and the company’s user population is happy and management feels empowered to build the business, you can bet that the business’s bottom line will be healthy.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff made possible by the simple choice of selecting a community/technical education conference over a keynote conference.