I am sure many of you are starting to consider attending a school transportation conference or two this summer. Many state, regional and national conferences have returned, and the industry professionals I’ve spoken with are excited to get together to share ideas and reconnect with industry friends.
I highly recommend you attend conferences for professional development opportunities. The information you take away and share will likely help achieve better outcomes for your students and school transportation operations. The educational sessions and expertise of the presenters at these conferences will likely help improve your skills and knowledge on that subject matter. What better investment is there to make than in yourself and your team?
Conferences often feature keynote speakers, work-shops and panel discussions led by experts in various fields. By attending, individuals can learn about the latest trends and best practices, to gain valuable insights that can help them grow both personally and professionally. The chance to gain inspiration and motivation from other successful professionals is a big factor in why people attend conferences. Keynote speakers and panelists often share their personal stories and experiences, which can be a source of inspiration for attendees. This can help individuals develop a growth mindset and increase their confidence in pursuing their goals.
Attending conferences and leadership training programs can offer numerous benefits to individuals and organizations. Conferences like STN EXPO + Green Bus Summit and leadership training programs like the Transportation Director Summit provide an opportunity to gain knowledge, learn new skills, and network with like-minded individuals. In addition, participating in trade shows and networking events can expose individuals to new technology and enable them to meet new potential business partners.
“I experienced a lot of value connecting with peers at STN EXPO last year. The conversations and connections I had made during the sessions, networking events and trade show were invaluable. I plan on sending a big team to STN EXPO and the Green Bus Summit this year,” said Daniel Kang, transportation director at Los Angeles Unified School District in California.
The ability to network with fellow attendees and crowdsource potential solutions to today’s most pressing challenges is what you should expect to get out of attending a conference. Engaging with trade show exhibitors to connect the dots between operational strategies and the roles technology can play is key. Also, you can have fun doing it, while catching up with old friends and making new ones.
Conferences provide an opportunity to network with other professionals in our industry. This can be especially valuable for those who are looking to expand their professional circle and make new connections. Networking can lead to new opportunities, problem solving ideas, collaborations and partnerships that can benefit both the attendee and the organization or school district they represent.
Every year we ask STN EXPO attendees, “Why do you attend our conferences?” and the top two responses, in order of importance, are networking and professional development/educational classes.
Networking events and trade shows are important for people that are looking to expand their professional network and stay up to date on the latest trends and technology. The opportunity to meet with peers, suppliers, school bus dealers and OEMs is of big value to conference attendees. The trade show can also act as a place to conduct market research to find the best products and partners for your school district or organization needs to address key challenges around green energy, safety, security, driver training and special needs.
I want to personally invite you to register for STN EXPO in Indianapolis at “The Crossroads of America,” on June 2-6, or STN EXPO in Reno, Nevada the “Biggest Little City in the World,” on July 14-19. You can learn more at stnexpo.com.
Attending conferences and leadership training programs can offer numerous benefits to individuals and organizations. The opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills, network with other professionals, and gain inspiration and motivation from successful speakers are all great reasons to register. If you are looking to grow personally and professionally, attending conferences will be a valuable investment in your future success.
Editor’s Note: As reprinted in the May 2023 issue of School Transportation News.
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