Attending the Premier CIO Forum in Raleigh is essential for me as a 30-year IT/innovation professional. It is one of the highlights of my schedule each year, with several key benefits of this event coming to mind.
First of all, the opportunity for networking with other IT professionals has proven to be an invaluable means of building camaraderie and rapport. It allows me to communicate with other like-minded individuals, whether they are in my particular industry or not. There is something to be said about both sharing fresh ideas with others along with gaining new insights from others. It’s a two-way street, and it’s a win-win for all parties involved. Not only do I benefit from additional knowledge, but I get the satisfaction of knowing I helped someone else who was also in need. Regardless of the specific industry, people in IT (at least the best ones) are, by nature, constantly looking for ways to improve their processes and increase efficiency, while avoiding “burn-out” at the same time. Everyone improves & benefits from encouragement & motivation. Being in a room with others who are going through similar situations and hearing how they got through them is remarkably cathartic.
Secondly, the sessions themselves were very informative and eye-opening. Imagine how much you would learn about physics if you were to gather up a dream team comprised the best instructors and professors from high-profile Universities to meet with you for one day. The Premier CIO Forum is a similar experience. Of course, a one-day conference in no way compares to a college education or even a semester class, but my point is that these sessions with industry experts allow me to tap into their collective wisdom – and that’s powerful. At this specific conference, I had an additional perspective: I had the honor of speaking at one of those sessions. It was outstanding to see “the light come on” in the faces of my audience, and it was encouraging to receive the overwhelming positive feedback afterwards. Knowing I made an impact on someone else by what I said is extremely satisfying, and I can only imagine the other speakers feeling the same way. What a tremendous opportunity for innovation on a personal level! And as I said in my presentation, “If you’re not innovating, then you’re stagnating!”
Lastly, the Premier CIO Forum provided a means to enhance future networking. That is, not only did I meet some phenomenal people while at the event, but also having shared contact information also resulted in many professional social media. In fact, my involvement with the Premier CIO Forum (and Premier Connects) has been largely responsible for a 25% increase in my LinkedIn network (from just over 3000 to more than 4100 connections). The opportunity for both giving and receiving; the unknowns of whether you will be the mentor or the mentee; the win-win of sharing advice and being advised – and much more – all combine to make the Premier CIO Forum both an unforgettable experience and an incalculable value to the IT professional. With an incomparable staff and first-class leadership at the helm, you can’t go wrong with Premier Connects.