I had the great opportunity of attending this year's MIMA Summit as both a student and a volunteer. While this was my second year attending, it was certainly a very different experience than last year, namely because I was also representing Three Deep.

I think all interns and student employees of an interactive agency should have a chance to attend events such as the MIMA Summit. While I have numerous reasons for why your intern should attend, I've gathered my Top 8 reasons.

1. Expect Notes

I'm not referring to the notes that are passed in middle school that are similar to the "Do you like Jimmy? Circle: Yes, No, Maybe". If you tell your intern that you'd like them to share what they learned at the conference, chances are you'll get more than you bargained for. Students are meticulous at taking notes, and will try to report as much information as their brains are able to handle.

2. Unbiased Approach

Let's be real here: Before social media blew up, who was using Facebook? Students. Young people are typically the first ones that will jump headfirst into a new technology with little reserve. So if someone is speaking of the next "big thing" and you're left rolling your eyes, ask the intern what they think. Most interns will know enough about the company to truly discuss the feasibility of such innovations for your business and might just see things a little differently.

3. Outside Learning

Sure, any student would be more than happy to get out of class for a day, but I was excited because I would still be learning. Instead of learning about the 4 P's of Marketing in a boring lecture, I was listening to Kipp Bodnar discuss B2B leads through social media. For an aspiring interactive professional, which session do you think is more applicable to a career?

4. Be a Team Member

Maybe you have a great team that is extremely close-knit and enjoys spending time together. Or maybe your team enjoys keeping their heads in their laptops, working on projects all day. Whether you are either example, having your intern attend the MIMA Summit with other members of your team is great for making them part of the team. I enjoyed having a familiar face in the crowd and having people to sit at the lunch table with.

For a bonus, it was great to be able to take the divide-and-conquer approach to sessions. I didn't have to worry about revealing my new bi-locating technology when I knew that Jeff, Jenny, or Jobin would likely be in the other session I wanted to go to.

5. Build their Network (and yours' too!)

Most people know that conferences are a great time for networking. This rule applies to your intern as well. Help them to expand their network and give them a stack of business cards. Their networking skills will develop in the midst of your MIMA peers and perhaps other professionals will learn more about your company too! Also, ask your intern to help you! If they know someone in the networking crowd that you've always wanted to meet, they can help you get the introductions rolling!

6. Next-level Skills

As supervisors, wouldn't it be great if your intern asked if they could take your marketing efforts up a notch? If given the opportunity to attend the MIMA Summit, your intern would learn all about what other companies are doing to stand out from the crowd. Similar to #2, your intern could help you find new innovative ways to make your business better.

7. It's Cheap!

Yes, money. It does cost money for any intern to attend the MIMA Summit. However, if your intern is still in school, it would cost less than $100.  Or, they could do like I chose, and volunteer for the event itself, and get to go to some sessions for free. 70% savings over a regular priced MIMA ticket or more? Sign me up for that!

8. Participate in Live Social Media

Did you wish that you would have had enough time to post Twitter updates while live-blogging from the Summit? Or concerned that people who would be commenting on your session wouldn't be getting an immediate response? Enter the intern. Give your intern a list of things that you'd like them to do for the day. Perhaps 5 tweets regarding the Gary Vaynerchuk keynote under the #mimasummit hashtag. Maybe post a picture or two on Facebook of you as you begin your session on Google Analytics. Let your intern know what you'd like to accomplish through social media at the conference and take more time for the work you have to do.

Next time you gear up to attend a local conference such as the MIMA Summit, make sure to consider your intern on the list. I know that I learned a lot about interactive marketing that will help Three Deep in the future, and I'm sure that your intern will find just as many benefits as well.

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