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In world that’s growing more mobile by the minute, many of us work on networks day-in and day-out, but one fact of business that’s never going to change is networking. Face to face. It’s easy to lose focus on these types of interactions, even more so when there isn’t an established business community where you’re located.

Build IT Together 2015 is coming up fast, but we’re hoping for a bigger turnout than ever before, so we wanted to share a story from one of our speakers from last year’s event. Matt Mace is the President and CEO at Blue Granite, and he told us about his experience as both a speaker and an attendee, and how BIT is more than just sitting in on lectures and workshops:

Matt Mace

Matt Mace President & Founder Blue Granite

“Build IT Together has speakers and sessions—the things you’d expect, and I think that helped get conversations started—but in between sessions, you saw a lot of interactions among the tables, discussions going on in different parts of the room. For me personally, I like to just interact with folks to see what they’re up to—are the trends that we read about in the newspaper or online—are those trends for real? What’s happening within organizations?

At Blue Granite, we’re trying to figure out where the puck’s moving for analytics. What kind of problems are people trying to solve now, and can we help set our company up to be in a position to help them and offer value. I’m always trying to engage with folks to see if I’m hearing similar stories in different places, and those were the types of interactions I got at the conference—We’d been testing out Hadoop clusters at Blue Granite, and I had that innovation validated by several other people at BIT. Getting that kind of insight is a different type of value over a training session or a workshop.

It’s not just bringing people together, either—it’s the mix of people who make it out. I think, as a presenter, it’s nice having that mixed room, because it forces you to hone in your message—the purpose of the event is to bring in people from different business types: government, education, small business, large business. That’s what made the event engaging.

It’s not often that you bring that mix of folks together in Kalamazoo—and certainly not in IT! I can’t think of another event off hand where all those diverse groups get together for IT-oriented presentations and topics and follow up discussions. That’s what I think makes Build IT Together unique, and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Join a community of like-minded tech thinkers, and learn together with us. Registration is free, and we’d love to see you at the event in May.