How to get the most out of a testing conference?



  • I get that arriving to the session early (at least on time) and paying full attention is a given. I sit on the front row when I can to lessen distractions & help me focus. Also I get to go to bed at a reasonable hour.I ask because: * I don't want to listen to product sales pitches disguised as information sessions given by "experts." * I have signed up for breakouts only to find the content was so high-level, it could have been given at any conference. In other words, I attend the breakout with expectations as per the description. However the content, while loosely aligned with the description, was not unique to my testing needs and the setting is a testing conference so how could it not relate to testing? * Excellent breakouts are scheduled at same time & I can't attend both. Is there a way to make this a win-win for an attendee? * Let's say I see industry experts chatting in the lobby. I have read their books, blogs and tweets for years. And they tweet, e-mail, comment on each others' blogs regularly, and will see each other at the next conference in 6 months (if not sooner). I go to 1 conference every 2-4 or even 5 years and am thrilled to be around such a great pool of valuable knowledge. Knowing that I may not get this opportunity again, and, as a professional, I would like to say "Hello" and introduce myself. What is the best way to do this?Those are a few ideas to get thoughts rolling, but generally speaking, I am looking for tips on how to get the most possible benefit from attending a testing conference.Thanks in advance.



  • "I would like to say "Hello" and introduce myself. What is the best way to do this?"The best way is to go up and introduce yourself! Go for it!I have spoken at many conferences around the world and I always enjoy meeting new people and listening to their thoughts and ideas, hearing issues they may be facing, and learning more about what's happening in different parts of the industry outside of MS.Sometimes, there is a lot going on at the conference, so I and many of my colleagues are quite open to folks contacting us via email after a conference if there isn't time during the conference.Bottom line, don't be afraid to reach out. Despite the different opinions and personalities running around the conference circuit I think most speakers and even the attendees are there to network and share ideas.


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