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STARtech17 (what is a STARtech anyway?)

Earlier this month, I attended STARtech17 in Houston. STARtech is one of the annual conferences associated with the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR). This organization of 700+ members was founded in 1990 to facilitate discussions among developers & users of CAT (computer-aided transcription) software.

Since STAR is closely associated with Stenograph, many of the sessions were devoted to helping users who are using Stenograph's CATalyst software. Even though I've been a long-time user of this software, I was excited to learn more about the many features offered.

In addition to the technical sessions about CATalyst, there were also sessions about the business side of running a court reporting firm. The participants were able to learn about a variety of business elements, including marketing, accounting & finance and human resource management. We were also able to meet with vendors offering tools to help our firms run more smoothly.

There was also an incredibly fun trivia event one of the evenings. Shout-out to Table #2!! We may not have won, but we certainly had a great time! And I do think we learned a little along the way.

As with any industry conference, there were plenty of opportunities to network over food & drink. This is one of my favorite parts of any event like this, as I was able to see old friends and make many new ones. Thanks to all for helping make it a successful event for me.

So what's the takeaway from an industry event like this for a individual court reporter or firm owner? Why should they attend?

- Anyone who is an active court reporter (especially those that use CATalyst software) can learn a lot about the latest developments in the industry that will help them be more efficient in the future.

- A firm owner can learn more about how to effectively manage their business. They can find ways to increase revenue, as well as streamline their operations. They can also network with firms all across the country to develop important relationships that can help in the future.

- No matter whether you are a reporter or firm owner, if you think as we do at Harpeth Court Reporters, what is most important to you is delighting your clients. There is no better way to improve the bottom line of your business than to be sure that your customers are thrilled with every aspect of the work that you do for them. An event such as STARtech17 can certainly give you a number of tools to help you do this. I highly recommend it!

Next up is STARCON17 -- another STAR event that I don't want to miss. Hope to see you in Boston, Oct 12-14, 2017!

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