INSZoom is busy planning for another great conference. The Power User Conference will be held in San Ramon, CA on January 22, 2016. As we head into the holidays and many of us try and stay focused while dreaming of Turkeys and Holiday Cheer I wanted to take a few minutes and remind everyone why attending industry conferences is such a good idea for both career and business. The cost to attend is minimal to the benefits that are obtained when new things are learned and inspiring ideas are shared.
- To learn from and to be motivated by other power users.
- Find solutions to your problems.
- Form relationships that will lead to strategic alliances, joint ventures and referrals.
- Stay current on technology trends in the immigration industry.
- To socialize.
It is very easy to continue to sit at your desk every day doing the exact same thing in the exact same way. We all tend to become creatures of habit and when a new hire asks “why do we do it like that” the common response is “because we have always done it this way”. Don’t get stuck in the same rut. Attending power user conferences allows you to see how others are using the system and powerful best practices are exchanged. If you work for a small firm is it possible that your firm is not able to afford a system administrator or power user. You would be amazed at the ingenuity of these super stars and you should come learn from them!
If you are struggling with how to solve a problem it is possible others did too at some point and they found a solution! We are all very busy these days and case work and clients come first. Often, there is simply no time to sit and brain storm on how to solve a problem and limited system knowledge can be a hindrance. The best solution I found to a problem came from another power user at an INSZoom Power User Conference. I was in the audience listening to how another large firm found a solution to capturing data. This was a big problem for us in Global Immigration as we required our employees to enter specific info into specific fields but our employees were inconsistent in entering the data. The solution? Create an internal questionnaire that is pinned to a foreign national’s profile! This was a huge light bulb moment and saved our company hundreds of man hours ($$) and a lot of pain.
Contrary to popular belief, very few people walk away from hours spent at a conference with a fistful of contacts. Many of our clients are in the same business and possibly competing for the same work but you never know when the person sitting next to you might become your next strategic alliance. Maybe you have clients who are looking for support with a certain work permit type or assistance with a country where you don’t offer services. If you want to retain your client you will need to find a way to make them happy by either finding a partner or being able to provide them with a referral.
Attending networking events allows you to glean information about current and future trends. What does the future hold for technology? What are clients demanding and what changes are coming to stay aligned with these demands? Staying on top of technology trends helps you to better plan for your future, resources and initiatives.
The world of immigration is a unique one where a lot of the work can be done from home offices. Attorneys, paralegals, case managers and power users can work from home. This is especially true in corporate based immigration where the company might be located 5 states away and they never set foot in your office. With technology, the internet, FedEx, UPS, and USPS you can process cases from home and never see your clients in person! As more and more people balance work and life it is vital to our wellbeing that we get out and socialize. We need to recharge our batteries. We need to be inspired. We need to socialize!