I attended a conference in June that had a cool app. The Guidebook app allowed conference participants to review the schedule from their phone, read bios of the speakers and connect with participants.
I was so impressed with the app, I wanted to use it for the NFPW conference. NFPW is an organization in which I am actively involved, although I was not involved in the planning of this year’s conference (whew!). I knew this year’s conference planners already had plenty on their plates so I reached out and asked if they were interested in the app if I created it for them.
Of course, they said yes. I spoke with Guidebook and found out that because our conference wasn’t that large, there would not be a cost to use the app. The downside is that I would not be able to get technical assistance, but I was assured it was intuitive. How hard could it be?
It was worth the time to create it because it meant participants at the NFPW conference would have conference details at their fingertips. Today almost everyone carries a smartphone with them. Keeping track of a conference program can be a challenge.
And I developed some new skills. I had a few challenges, but I persevered. It was a good learning experience, and conference attendees used the app.
Another example is a presentation given at the conference on useful apps. One way to learn is to learn from others. The session highlighted useful apps and then participants shared their favorites. By the time the session ended, we had a list of about 25 additional recommended apps.
Another great place to grow your skills is Lynda.com. This site provides web tutorials on hundreds of topics. You can subscribe for a month or a year. I subscribe for a month when I realize I need to learn about a specific topic. I spend a few hours learning through the site.
Another site to check out is Online Media Campus, which is a partnership of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, the Iowa Newspaper Foundation and press associations throughout the United States and Canada. It provides high-quality, low-cost online training to media professionals.
Learning new skills makes good business sense. In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg writes, “The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
What have you learned today?