How I Made the Most Out of the CCJ Spring Symposium

Most of the events I attend are big trade shows like the Great American Trucking Show or CONEXPO-ConAgg. More intimate symposiums are new to me, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The sessions themselves were packed with amazing information about the current state and future of the trucking industry. If you are looking for a recap of what you missed, click here. The benefits of attending the Spring Symposium went way beyond what happened while a speaker was on stage.

The CCJ Spring Symposium was an incredible opportunity for me because I had a chance to sit across the table from people who run fleets all over the country.

I learned about how driver recruiters view themselves, how fleet executives plan to grow their businesses, and how these groups tend to consume content.

Since I am trying to reach fleet executives and driver recruiters, the Spring Symposium was like a  highly targeted focus group of industry experts. All of us want to learn from each other, and all of us were there to figure out how to do our jobs better. Having that in common meant that at a cocktail party, a meal or even just socializing between sessions I could learn something valuable that would help me do my job better no matter who I started a conversation with.

You Get Out What You Put In

An event like the Spring Symposium could have been less educational for me than it was. I could have kept to myself, only spoken to my co-workers, or have spent most of my time in my hotel room. If I hadn’t made an effort to meet new people and ask them intelligent questions I could have ended up taking a couple of days off of work just to learn about things I could have just as easily read about in the next issue of CCJ. 

I sometimes hear people saying that events are a dying business. The information attendees learn at an event isn’t exclusive or rare anymore. They can easily get that information any time they want without losing days travelling and spending hundreds of dollars on travel, meals and hotels. But people who think this way don’t understand the true value of an intimate, targeted event.

Only an event like a CCJ Symposium could provide an atmosphere that is so conducive to discussing topics so relevant to fleet executives because no one knows the trucking industry like the CCJ editorial staff.

Having a chance to interact with fleet executives, all while learning from speakers that are carefully selected by award winning trucking industry journalists is difficult to put a price tag on.

This is how I described the event to my boss when I got back:

There isn’t anywhere you can go to get a degree in “The Trucking Industry.” There aren’t schools that teach classes about what fleet executives should be concerned about next year. But the CCJ Symposiums are the next best thing.  These events aren’t just a chance to get away for a couple of days and play golf. These are events that provide an education to anyone who works in the trucking industry.