I’m a proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2003.
Yes, that just dated me.
But it’s important to this blog post – I promise.
For those that aren’t familiar with Texas A&M University, the university is well known for all of its traditions.
From saying “Howdy” (like above) – to Muster (honoring fellow Aggies that have passed away) – to being a part of the 12th Man (supporting our team by standing throughout football games) – to the Big Event (the largest one-day student run community service project in the US) – to being proud of where you came from (this is where the class of 2003 comes in) and so much more.
A lot of the Aggie traditions stem around the concept of “the other education.”
Part of the Texas A&M culture is the belief that you receive more knowledge than just the traditional education from the classroom – you also receive your “other education” outside of the classroom.
“The other education” I received through learning from fellow classmates, carrying those connections on throughout the years and being an active participant in my community has been important in shaping who I am as a professional years after leaving Aggieland.
So this got me thinking and relating it to HFTP’s newest conference – the Knowledge Exchange.
HFTP is offering attendees the opportunity to get more out of the conference than just formal classroom education.
Of course regular education sessions will be at the Knowledge Exchange. But this time, attendees get to be more proactive about what they learn outside of those education sessions. With longer breaks between sessions and attendee-led discussions, everyone has the opportunity to get “the other education.”
Hallway Networking Can Increase Your Conference ROI
I recently read a series of articles from Thom Singer’s blog Some Assembly Required about the importance of networking at face-to-face conferences. And it really hit home with me. This is exactly what we (HFTP Global) are trying to provide for attendees at the Knowledge Exchange.
Singer stressed the need for “hallway networking” at face-to-face conferences and meetings. He points out that we often take for granted the power of connection that goes deeper than just collecting business cards at conferences.
This idea is vital to what the Knowledge Exchange is all about.
Like Singer says, “It is the sharing of thoughts, ideas and best practices that can provide the best education.”
He then goes on to discuss extending the “hallway networking” beyond the conference when you get home. By following-up with people you meet at the conference, you are able to extend your conference experience virtually.
By talking with fellow attendees and sharing thoughts and ideas, you are increasing your conference ROI. You gain more from the conference AND you could even make a connection that is needed in your future career.
“If done properly it is not uncommon that people first encountered at an industry event can become customers, vendors, co-workers, influential and trusted advisers and friends,” said Singer.
Get Your “Other Education”
So beyond the sessions on human resources, data security, tax management, health care reform, etc, I look forward to hearing about the important lessons attendees learned in the hallway of the conference.
Go out there and get your “other education” when you are at the Knowledge Exchange – or any conference for that matter.
Katy Walterscheidt is the PR & social media manager for HFTP and a proud Texas Aggie. She is also the editor of HFTP Connect, the hospitality professionals’ blog. You can reach her on Twitter @katyw03 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of StuSeeger’s Flickr page.