There are a lot of challenges when working for yourself. Without colleagues to talk to or bounce ideas off of, things can get pretty lonely. Even if you work in an office, you might feel you lack like-minded colleagues.
I found this to be especially true last year. I spent a lot of time in the office by myself. As a result, I ended the year feeling somewhat isolated and out-of-touch with the industry as a whole.
This year, however, I’m going to do things differently. I’m going to get out more. What’s a good way to do this? At a conference of course!
Conferences provide a triple dose of value. First, you can learn a LOT. Most conferences are jam-packed with training, presentations, and opportunities to learn. It’s like being back in college but without the homework! Second, you get to spend a lot of quality time with like-minded professionals, either in classes, over coffee, or at various social events (which are always important). Third, you get to spend some time away from your day-to-day routine. For me, this is a big part of the appeal.
Yes, it’s sometimes tough to take a few days away from the office when you’ve got a ton of work to do. However, I often return from a conference re-invigorated and fired-up. It’s like I needed that time away to get more productive. Plus, I always learn some new tools and techniques I’m eager to put into practice.
In past years, I’ve attended and/or spoken at a bunch of conferences, including Autodesk University, ABX, Building Connections Congress, as well as RTC North America and RTC Europe (now the BiLT conferences). Each conference has a different flavor and a different focus. Want lots of classes? Head to Autodesk University. Prefer a smaller, more intimate gathering? Definitely check out BiLT. Want a mix of technology and industry session? ABX is perfect for you.
So what conferences should you attend? Fortunately, there are a lot of options within the BIM world. To help you decide, I’ve compiled a list of BIM specific conferences around the world, complete with dates and links. Click the image below to browse the full list (on Airtable).
This list is no way complete. I’m sure I’m missing a lot of great conferences, especially in regions other than North America. If you know of any conferences I should add, please let me know. Just click the link below and enter the details. I appreciate the help!
So what conferences have you attended in the past? What did you think? Was it worth the time and money? What conferences are you planning to attend this year? Leave a comment below!