The other day I wrote a post on self-development as a component of being a PR student. I mentioned how keeping up with anything ”new” is vital for PR, meaning it’s vital for students even more. While there I wrote more about a two-month-long course I took, here I’m going to scribble on another way of keeping up with new – conferences.
The biggest and most important one in Ankara, where I spend most of my year, is ”Ankara Branding Festival” held in December. Initially my plan was only to make a video about it, but since I can’t get out of my bed at the moment, I thought why not write a post as well. Because there are things I’d like to clarify that didn’t fit in the video. Both conferences in general, as well as this one in particular.
Pro’s of going to a well-known conference:
Well, obviously, you’ll learn new stuff. If speakers are indeed highly ranked people in their field, then, inevitably, you’ll learn. This is the reason people go to conferences and lectures of any kind. And the reason students are attracted by them. However, keeping in mind not everything heard during any kind of lectures really, isn’t always necessarily 100% truth, but rather ones view on it is extremely important, if you ask me.
You don’t always leave with people you will continue communicating with on a daily basis. However, you do have a chance to meet a variety of people, from other students to people working in the field or even the speakers themselves. Besides broadening your network, you also might find yourself in one of those right place-right time kind of stories!
We all have those ”I can conquer the world right now!” moments. Conferences are definitely one of those places that stimulate them. Being surrounded by people with similar interests gets you motivated to do stuff. Especially listening to some great speakers! After leaving the AMF, I wanted to write a zillion posts, start new series, make videos, working on my YT channel and so much more. The next step is to keep the vibe going.
As a student on AMF, we had the opportunity to participate in a program designed especially for students, where several speakers would come and talk about their fields and work and than later a competition would happen. I personally couldn’t attend it this year, but I did 2 years ago, on the 1st AMF. This year, my roommie and her team won the first place so congratulations! I’m so proud of her man, I can’t even…
5. Getting out of you comfort zone
Now even though this seems as a least important take out, it might just be the most important one. Because not only PR, but all of the other creative fields don’t allow comfort zones AT ALL. The moment you get used to a certain environment or a way of working means sometime really soon you should change it. Because working and thinking in the same way will never let you think of something differently. And creative industry is all about being different. So, please, take care of your box.
Con’s of going to a well-known conference
Even though I think everything teaches you something, and therefore going to conferences is definitely a necessity, there are also things I’d like to emphasize. 2 in particular.
1. Not everything you hear is always true
We’ve all heard of ”If Rihanna does it, it’s cool” saying. Now that’s marketing. However knowledge isn’t an accessory, and therefore shouldn’t be treated that way. Meaning that if Rihanna, or whoever the speaker (whether celebrity, or anyone else) says something, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s truth. I’m not saying they’re lying either; it’s their own perspective on the matter. But not the matter itself. So, please, be careful.
2. Celebrities vs Speakers
Having many celebrities on a conference doesn’t immediately make it a good conference. On this year’s AMF, there were many super famous singers, actors, influencers, etc. But not all of them had good speeches. I understand the necessity for them as for marketing and PR work, but to me, this only shows the aim of the conference organization; quantity over quality. Pretty disappointing, if you ask me.
All in all, I’d say conferences (including AMF) can be a good place to see new things. However, just because it’s new doesn’t mean you have to incorporate it in your life or work.