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taylor desseyn
taylor desseyn

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Conferences and Coffee with Clark Sell: Why 'Just Showing Up' is Key to Building a Thriving Community

Hi friends! I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the man behind one of the coolest conferences around, Clark Sell. You might know him as the mastermind behind THAT Conference, or maybe you've had the pleasure of sipping his incredible coffee… yeah THAT coffee. Either way, this guy has some true knowledge about the tech world.

In our chat, we got down to the nitty-gritty of where the magic happens in the tech conference community. And let me tell you, it's all about showing up. Yep, you heard me right. As much as we love our cozy couches and Netflix binges, sometimes you gotta peel yourself away from the screen(s) and go shake someone's hand. That's how communities are born, my friends.

So if you're ready to take your tech game to the next level, sit back, relax, and get ready to soak up some serious wisdom + some Grade A banter from the one and only Clark Sell: here's the link

If you don’t have 39 minutes and 31 seconds to spare, here's a speedy summary of the best bits from our chat:

  • The tech part is easy, but how do you grow yourself?

Tech conferences are an excellent way to further your education and connect with others in the tech community. Duh.

Consider conferences an investment in yourself. You’re without a doubt going to learn something

Use conferences as exposure to the ‘non-techie’ world as a unified group of people. Maybe not to SantaCon levels, but still

  • If you want to be a speaker, make sure your topic isn’t something that’s Google-able.

Being engaging as a speaker requires more than just profiting off a buzzword topic

Remember that you're speaking to a live audience, so be sure to play off their energy and engage with them

  • Sometimes, in person conferences just aren’t in the cards.

Clark has created an online space to simulate the conference buzz and feeling of community but with a focus on being a support group, of sorts, for each other. Go check it out

  • Best ways to hack the tech conference code:

We’re talking with full energy and 100% investment, people. The conference is there for you so act like it
You’re going to be surrounded by people who are putting themselves out there as well. So you already have two things in common, odds are you probably have more

Meet new people
If you’re going to hide in your group of friends or coworkers, what’s the point in going?
You don’t have to be super outgoing— something as simple as sharing a QR code to your LinkedIn and sending out a DM in the comfort of your pajamas while sipping $35 hotel room bottled water totally counts

  • Email the organizer ahead of the event

They literally know it all. Let them help you map out the best ways to get the most out of your time
Guess who gets to meet EVERYONE going to a conference— the registration volunteers.

  • *And finally, life advice: You’re going to work for a long time, you might as well enjoy it. *

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