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Preparing for PePcon: Coming Up With Your Conference Strategy

Editor’s Note

2015 brings many opportunities to enrich your knowledge of InDesign and the print and digital publishing industry by attending professional conferences like PePcon, the Print + ePublishing Conference (which is produced by the same people behind InDesignSecrets). In 2015, the 6th annual PePcon will take place June 1-4 in Philadelphia, PA. You can find all the details on the PePcon web site.

Author Renee Brisson-Khan is an enthusiastic veteran of previous PePcons and we asked her to share some tips for her fellow InDesign users on how to get most out of attending. And while she’s talking about PePcon specifically, her recommendations are great for any conference or expo you might attend.

Do you know what you want to get out of PePcon?

When you invest in an event like PePcon you want to get as much out of it as possible. You could attend the seminars and workshops and easily stumble on all kinds of invaluable tips, tricks, and new information, so imagine what could find if you attended and looked with purpose!

Attract what you need

Attending to get knowledge means that’s what you’ll get, but don’t stop there. Ask yourself if there are other opportunities, connections, or solutions you could find at PePcon. Having goals prior to attending can help give you focus leading up to the event. Here are just a few ideas to consider:

Learn

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OK, this is the obvious one. We all want to learn more about InDesign and publishing workflows, but what specifically do you want to get a better grasp on? Are you having a hard time with a certain process? Need to fill in a particular gap in your knowledge or skills? Having a list of things you want to learn will help you pick and prioritize seminars. This is key because you may be interested in attending two sessions that take place simultaneously, and unless you find a way to clone yourself, you’ll have to choose only one. Also, don’t forget to bring your list of burning questions to the event to ask the pros.

Find

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If you have a problem there is a very strong chance you will find the solution—or a person who can develop a custom solution for you. People, processes, publishers, scripters, software and add-ons, you’ll find them at PePcon. In fact the sheer amount of info can be overwhelming, so make your wish list to help give you focus.

Hire

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Specialized skills, coders, trainers, and consultants abound at this event. Many organizations, institutions, and companies have teams in place, but with new technologies and solutions constantly popping up, you may want to keep your eyes open for a specialist to fill in a gap. Look and ask around. Chances are you’ll find what you need.

Network

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Whether it’s finding other people in your industry to share ideas with, building business opportunities, or just expanding your network of contacts, PePcon is the place to grow a very specialized network of individuals and pros that you can keep in touch with. Have a look at your network and think about who you’d like to add to strengthen it, then build a schedule to attend the workshops and events that will put you around those people.

Extra Tip: Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff

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This year PePcon will take place in Philadelphia, one of the most historic cities in North America with so many sites to see. And whether your tastes run towards Philly roll sushi or cheesesteaks, there are plenty of wonderful foodie spots to discover with fellow PePcon attendees. Why not start that list of “must-sees”? Once you join the community forum, you’ll be able to find a number of people who’d like to do the same—hello networking opportunity!

It all starts now!

Now that you’ve started thinking about your goals, continue to keep a note open over the months leading up to PePcon. Refresh your list and be ready to find what you need and get the most out of PePcon!

Do you have ideas to share?

Feel free to tell us about some of your goals and things you’ve found at PePcon.

Renee Brisson-Khan

Renee Brisson-Khan

Renee Brisson-Khan is the owner of RBK Artworks, a boutique graphic design company that specializes in designing branded sales tools for print, interactive, and exhibits for B2B companies. She’s attended PePcon San Francisco (2012) and Chicago (2014) and at each one she spoke at the InDesign IGNITE evening event. Check out her LinkedIn profile to learn more.
Renee Brisson-Khan

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3 Comments on “Preparing for PePcon: Coming Up With Your Conference Strategy

    • Thanks Bob, I’ve been looking through sites on Philly trying to make a list of “Must Sees”, your recommendations are welcome!

  1. Thanks for this post, Renee. Making a list beforehand is indeed an important way to stay focused once you get to PePcon. There is SO MUCH good info coming at you, you could easily just sit passively in the sessions and let it all wash over you, and as you said you will certainly learn a thing or two that way. But you’ll retain more of the stuff you really NEED if you go in with a strategy in mind. Nice job!

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