This is a wakeup call. It’s an invitation to pull yourself out of what can easily devolve into the monotony of daily work life. Even in the best work environments with the best people, it’s easy to feel like your routines are turning from beneficial to boring, and new projects shift from exciting to exhausting. I have what may seem like an unlikely solution: Go to a work conference.
I know, I know an A/B testing conference hardly seems like the right antidote for a work-related rut, while it might seem unlikely, it could be precisely the remedy you need. Stick with me and stop rolling your eyes.
Last month, I attended CXL Live, which bills itself as a “Must-attend conference for people responsible for driving growth through optimization and experimentation.” And while I was sitting in the audience listening to industry leaders, I smiled each time I heard someone make a pithy, smart point from the stage. I came back with new ideas, new perspectives, and a refreshed vigor for work. Seriously.
During the conference, Eric Allen relayed a lesson he’d heard in his career to combat the idea that test losses devalue an experimentation program. An executive on his team had reassured him, “A/B tests are our cost of tuition. It costs money to learn.” I love that. His takeaway is one we need to remind ourselves of all too often: losing isn’t failure — failure is not learning.
Joanna Wiebe, a conversion copywriter and creator of the site copyhackers.com, reminded us, “Test-worthy copy is not just sitting inside your head. Or inside mine. It’s in the minds and hearts of your customers.”
She encouraged the use of voice-of-customer feedback as the content (and sometimes copy) for headlines and value propositions. And she encouraged writers to go beyond typical VOC sources and find hidden gems by mining sales calls, thank-you page surveys, and Facebook comments. Not only does this approach take some pressure off the copywriter to magically come up with copy, but it supplies with you a shortcut to your ultimate goal—getting into the head of your customer.
There were scores of talks, and I was able to grab nuggets of knowledge like this from nearly all of them (check out the recap of speaker takeaways if you’re interested). Here’s my point: it’s not that these speakers had totally revolutionary thoughts never before uncovered. It’s that they were able to apply a new spin on topics we talk about all the time. Their points were thoughtful, novel, and related to the work we do every day.
The beauty of conferences is that you’re around people who work in your industry, but not in your office. They think differently than your colleagues. They have different anecdotes, they see things through a different lens, and they form conclusions you might not expect. And at a good conference (like CXL Live, or Click Summit which is coming up in less than a month), those anecdotes and new perspectives and fresh conclusions are presented in a compelling, impactful 30- or 45-minute package that will have you unpacking it long after it’s over.
So go to a conference – think differently and tap into your passion for your job. Choose a conference where the speakers seem smart, the topics look relevant, and the bar is described as “open.”