While attending PLM World conferences is a beneficial aspect of being a PLM World member, presenting at a users meeting or national conference is an underestimated action with great results. Any user can submit an abstract and potentially present at any PLM World function, receive free admission and have the opportunity to connect on a different level with conference goers. It is a chance for real users to talk about their experiences and innovative solutions to problems they feel users face.
The number of user presenters compared to salesman presenters is understandably low; most users don’t have time to put together a presentation or are fearful of speaking in front of others, but for the few that do, it is a great experience. Donald Mitchell of FermiLab, Craig Klug of Carlston Tool and Larry Carpenter of Siemens Healthcare all presented at the Fall 2011 Chicago and Wisconsin Users Group Meeting in Pleasant Prairie, WI.
“You can talk about your achievements,” said Klug.
After troubleshooting and trial-and-error, users receive enough feedback to customize their tools in creative ways. Conferences and users meetings are a chance for other users to connect and share the methods they have developed in their workflow. Presenters build stronger relationships and see new opportunites with users at PLM World meetings.
Carpenter stated, “Once you get past the hump, you receive face and name recognition.”
Not to mention that a little preparation goes a long way: researching new topics helps users review and build upon their skills. Presenters are acknowledged for their resources and use the meetings as a chance to show professional growth.
“People start to think of you as the expert,” Mitchell said.
Start within the workplace or even regionally; once users prepare and bite the initial bullet it becomes a habit rather than a painful chore. Take advantage of presenting at a PLM meeting or conference and not only receive free admission and gain recognition, but learn more about topics and solutions that effect users the most.