Conferences are an investment – of time and money. But the benefits of attending conferences are plentiful. Here’s why you should check out your next industry conference:
Networking With Peers
Sometimes business is about who you know, not what you know. If you’ve chosen your conferences well, you should expect to run across your industry’s top experts and influencers. This gives you a chance to learn from the best. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can while you’re at the conference and connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn once you’ve returned home.
Sizing Up The Competition
Hopefully, you have a pulse on what your competitors are doing. An industry conference will certainly allow you to gain a better understanding of what your competition is consumed by. This is not to say you have to follow suit, but it may spawn ideas or help you redirect your energy.
Checking Out New Technology
There are always vendors at conferences who are hocking the latest and greatest in tools and technologies for your industry. Sales reps at the conference may be able to point to customers who are in attendance so you can gain a better idea of what the product can do for you. Even if you don’t plan to implement anything right away, you’ll get to see what’s coming down the pipeline.
Testing Out New Ideas
There’s no better place to try on your ideas for size than a room full of other professionals in your industry. Chances are someone else has tried what you’re thinking and can give you insight on implementing it successfully. Don’t be afraid to let your wildest ideas spill out and see gauge what others think.
Attending Educational Sessions
You’ve probably planned out which keynote speakers you want to attend and which breakout sessions you don’t want to miss. Having a plan is a good idea, especially for large conferences. But don’t underestimate the power of leaving a few open slots for educational sessions that simply sound intriguing. You never know what an unexpected workshop might inspire for your business.
Positioning Yourself As An Expert
This goes for while you’re at the conference and once you get home. Show your social media followers you’re part of the industry buzz by: 1) Letting them know you’re there, and 2) Sharing the information you’ve learned.
Having A Little Fun
A change of scenery might be all you need to inspire innovation. Business shouldn’t be all work and no play. Many conference event lineups have a social element – it’s OK to let loose a bit. If nothing else, it may recharge you to get out of the office for a few days.