Attending the Structures Congress over the last seven years has been one of my biggest career accelerators. I have met some of the brightest engineers and have become friends with a lot of them. Not only that, but my network has grown tremendously and I have been able to sit on committees that are shaping the next generation of engineers.
When AISC reached out to me to invite me to attend the Steel Conference, it was a no-brainer to accept. I had never attended the Steel Conference in the past but have always heard amazing things about it.
Today, I want to share some of the benefits of attending the Steel Conference.
Disclaimer: AISC paid for me to attend The Steel Conference this year but in no way did they have influence over my views on the conference. All the opinions are mine based on my own experience. Big thank you to AISC for inviting me to attend the conference.
The Steel Conference is the premier event for engineers and students who are interested in the steel industry. The conference features a variety of speakers, exhibits, and networking opportunities. It's a great opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the steel industry, network with other professionals, and gain insights into the future of the industry.
As a first-time attendee, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I want to share with you some of the benefits of attending if this is your first time.
- Learn about the latest trends in the steel industry: The Steel Conference features a variety of speakers who will share their insights into the latest trends in the steel industry. You'll learn about new technologies, new products, and new ways to use steel. Not ony that, but you will see first hand how the Steel Manual along with other AISC resources come to live. If you are like me, you will love getting to know why we design like we do.
- Network with other professionals: The Steel Conference is a great place to network with other engineers, fabricators, and industry leaders. You'll have the chance to make new connections and learn from others in the field. I appreciated how everyone was so open to talking about the newest steel trend. I also got a chance to attend one of the student-specific networking sessions to talk with students. I love how much effort AISC puts into bringing students to the conference and making sure they are involved.
- Gain insights into the future of the steel industry: The Steel Conference features a variety of speakers who will share their insights into the future of the steel industry. You'll learn about the latest challenges and opportunities, and gain a better understanding of how the industry is evolving.
- Learn about new regulations and standards: The steel industry is constantly evolving, and new regulations and standards are always being developed. Attending the Steel Conference is a great way to learn about the latest changes and how they will affect your work. And if you are passionate about this topic, there are many opportunities to be the one that directs these regulations.
- Get involved in the steel industry: The Steel Conference is a great opportunity to get involved in the steel industry. You can learn about the different organizations and associations that represent the industry, and you can meet with people who are working to shape the future of the industry. There are committees for almost any aspect of the steel industry. To me, it is the best way to network with others as well as get involved to advance your career.
- Become a leader in the steel industry: Attending the Steel Conference can help you become a leader in the steel industry. You can learn from others who are making a difference in the industry, and you can share your own ideas and insights.
There are many more benefits to attending the Steel Conference. At the end of the day, it is going to depend on how involved you are during and after the conference.
If you truly want to make the most out of the conference, here are some tips that have helped me in the past:
- Plan ahead: Take some time to research the conference agenda and speaker list. This will help you make the most of your time and focus on the sessions that are most relevant to your interests. If there is a map of the conference location, make sure you take a look at it. This will save you time as you try to find your way around during the first day.
- Network with other professionals: The Steel Conference is a great place to network with other engineers, fabricators, and industry leaders. Make an effort to introduce yourself to people you don't know, and exchange business cards. The beauty of these conferences is the willingness of others to connect with you. You could jump on a conversation with anyone and truly learn something new every time.
- Visit the exhibit hall: The exhibit hall is a great place to learn about new products and services. Take some time to walk around and talk to the exhibitors. I typically spend a good amount of time in the exhibit hall looking around and talking to the companies I recognize or that look interesting. Make sure you bring some extra space in your luggage for all the goodies they have to offer.
- Attend social events: The Steel Conference typically includes a variety of social events. These are a great way to relax and socialize with other professionals. These events typically have food and drinks and are hosted at some pretty cool venues. For example, this year, the social event was at the Nascar Museum in Charlotte. I like the social events because you get to know others a little better outside the professional setting of the conference and you can create some really great connections.
If you are an engineer or student who is interested in the steel industry, I highly recommend attending the Steel Conference. It is a great way to learn, network, and grow. Feel free to reach out with any questions about the conference or anything else that comes to mind.