When deciding whether or not to attend an industry conference or event do you find yourself wondering if it’s worth the expense? How do you justify the cost of flight, accommodation, time away from work, and the conference itself? Can it be measured in increased productivity from training? New business contacts? Our experience shows there are many reasons to attend industry events and some of them simply cannot be measured in dollars and cents:
1) Expand your network – when you attend an event for the first time you are meeting with people who are committed to their business enough to foot the bill for the conference. This suggests that they are more engaged than other potential prospects and vendors. You never know who you will meet and what their impact might be on your future business opportunities. Take this chance to grow.
2) Build your knowledge – it can be humbling to be one small individual in a sea of professionals. You look around and see a group that collectively know more than you could possibly hope to learn on your own. Plugging into this cumulative knowledge is just the beginning. When you see how much others know, it drives you to increase your achievement level as well. You might meet the person you want to be in five years and she can show you how to get there.
3) Create/Renew Trusted Relationships – there really is no replacement for a face-to-face meeting with someone when building relationships. While social platforms, online channels, and technology are valuable tools for staying connected, it is essential to speak to someone to truly build trust. Live meetings can uncover much about a person. Give others the opportunity to know you and what kind of business person you are. Show your expertise and your sense of humour.
4) Obtain Insider Information – if you are a small business owner it is difficult to know everything about your industry. Meeting with salespeople and industry suppliers can help give insight to what is happening in your current business climate. Discovering innovations that can help you remain competitive are a positive take-away in the fast-changing business world.
5) Have Fun – what do they say about ‘all work and no play’? There is no reason why you can be an effective business leader and maximize the networking and marketing opportunities presented at a conference and still have a great time. Adding a day to your trip or even a few hours for a party, golf or tours can make the entire experience more enjoyable. You then get back to work refreshed with a new outlook and positive attitude.
The value of attending events is not passe. Quite the contrary. In the Internet Age, gathering like-minded people into one place for personal interaction is more important than ever. It’s those side conversations in the hallway or the passionate debates over lunch that really enhance the conference experience for many. Not every moment needs to be scheduled and sometimes it’s those impromptu interactions that make the whole experience worth it.
We have attended previous events from these organizations and recommend considering:
• CMC – Essentials of Management Consulting – Halifax, NS Oct 3-5, 2014
• CMC – How to do Business with Government – Toronto, ON Oct 16, 2014
• PMI-SOC Professional Development Symposium – Toronto, ON Nov 8, 2014
• PMO Symposium 2014 – Miami Beach, FL Nov 16-19, 2014
• Project Management World / Business Analyst World – Toronto, ON May 25-28, 2015
Advice on attending Industry events is just one of the services provided by Logixsource. Contact Heather Cartwright or Scott Savage to learn how Logixsource can best advise your business.