I had the honor to emcee the Kansas City IT Symposium on August 23rd. It was really great to see and meet up with old friends and colleagues at the event. It was also great to see our community emerging from the past two years of pandemic isolation and returning to meaningful professional gatherings. While we previously moved along in a Zoom-based world, nothing in my opinion can replace in-person interaction. In fact, I believe it is downright impossible to effectively lead, educate, and inspire others with only a virtual presence.
For the people in Kansas City, this was the 21st year for the IT Symposium. EFM did another spectacular job working with the local event team and leadership groups to assemble a full day of engaging speakers and topics. Along with hundreds of local attendees, around 30 vendor sponsors were present in and around the ballroom to showcase their latest and greatest ideas and technologies. I have been to my share of industry events, but have always appreciated this format which allows you to casually “speed date” a diverse group of vendors without any heavy sales pitch or relentless follow-up calls and emails.
The IT Symposium has always been one of my favorite events and I tried to attend every year along with my leadership team. The venue provides an opportunity for team building by getting us away from the office. I also liked it because it is local, inexpensive, and gave everyone an opportunity to learn something new, pickup a few ideas to try, and expand our personal network. I have always said that I valued the opinions and referrals from my people and my peers above all others. So it just makes sense that a bigger professional network means more opportunity to learn and make better decisions.
If you haven’t attended the IT Symposium in your city lately, I would encourage you and your leadership team to get reengaged. For those of us here on IT Pack, we get the opportunity to take the IT Symposium experience from a single day event and try to extend it year ‘round. Let us know what you found most valuable at your local Symposium, and help us bring it online. IT Pack is always evolving, and when current members invited more colleagues and peers to participate, the platform will become more valuable to all of us. A broader professional network, designed to connect us and share our ideas, opinions, and experiences, is a tool everyone will use often.
- Dave Robinson, CIO (Retired), Lockton Companies