Rather than believe the (rather biased) opinions of long-time Connect attendees, we thought it would be best to check in with some first timers to see what they wanted to get out of the annual employee communications conference and whether or not it met their professional development goals.
Stephanie Marsau, Mary Greeley Medical Center
With limited funds for professional development, what made you pick the Connect conference?
I chose the Connect conference because employee communication is a very large portion of my job. I work in healthcare and with an organization that is open 24/7, 365 days a year – communication becomes even more difficult. I saw the conference last year in Nashville, but by the time I checked it out – I couldn’t get a room at the hotel where the conference was being held. So I’ve essentially been planning for a year to attend!
What are you hoping to learn at Connect?
I was really looking for unique ways to reach/engage employees that we either haven’t thought of yet at my organization, or have maybe thought about it – but weren’t sure how to implement. I also wanted to meet others who have similar struggles.
Did Connect meet your expectations? Come up short? Exceed them?
It completely exceeded them. So many times you go to a conference and it’s not what you were expecting. I left Phoenix with so many things I want to try and implement here!
Can you share one key learning from your favorite session? How will you use this in your work?
My favorite session was the #1GreatIdeas. I can’t remember who shared it, but the idea about having different badge pulls for 1st year employees so that existing staff can welcome/onboard them better was genius. Our first year turnover is exceptionally high so I intend on working with our Human Resources staff about implementing something similar.
Would you recommend Connect to other communicators? If so, what one thing would you say to convince them to attend?
Absolutely! Internal communications is a pretty niche job function, so to find a conference that ONLY talks about that was pretty amazing. It was enlightening also to know that regardless of industry, everyone has the same struggles communicating with their employees. Some of my current issues, I received potential solutions to just from talking to people at my table.