On the face of it, there seems like a good reason to attend an industry conference. The cost of traveling and accommodation aside, it also feels like a waste of time and energy. There isn’t anything you’ll learn sitting next to people whose only agenda is to take time off work and slack off for a few days.
Is the information you’ll receive worth the hassle? The answer is yes. While there are negatives, your presence should lead to increased profitability. Remember that knowledge is power as far as bosses and business owners are concerned.
Of course, you need proof as to their effectiveness before you sanction a week off work as nobody wants to leave potential profits on the table. The good news is that you have come to the right place. Underneath you’ll find four excellent reasons to attend more conferences in your chosen field.
Sharpen Your Tools
There is a theory that relates to successful people. It goes like this: they see the importance of taking time off work to maintain and boost their standards. It’s called “sharpening the saw” and it’s one of the most sought-after habits of entrepreneurs. By taking a break from the monotony of the office, you’ll gain perspective and understand where you need to improve when you return to the workplace.
Some people will say you can do this in a variety of ways and there is no reason to choose a conference. Although there is truth to the statement, being at an event with peers and bouncing ideas off one another tends to boost the creative process. Playing golf is relaxing but it encourages the mind to take a break altogether and that isn’t profitable.
On your return, you should have new ideas and methodologies that help you to move the company forward. Instead of a woodpecker chipping away at a tree, you’ll be a lumberjack with a razor-sharp axe.
Obviously, there are plenty of opportunities to network and socialize at an event. However, the thing entrepreneurs miss is that they can do it in person rather than remotely. Sure, LinkedIn has changed the way the industry networks yet it doesn’t mean it’s the best way to make an excellent first impression.
Face-to-face meetings tend to have a lasting impression as they foster trust and understanding. Corporate types like to put a name to a face, and they can do that in person instead of over an instant messaging service. Plus, there is the human element to consider. Shaking a person’s hand, smiling and connecting over shared interests is a fantastic way to showcase your personality. As a rule, people do business with people that they like.
When you take into account the effectiveness of non-verbal cues too, there’s no doubt attending is a no-brainer. 93% of communication effectiveness is determined by them, which is why a significantly high number.
Professionals of all shapes and sizes attend conferences and events. And, while they may not be in the market for a new job, there is no harm in scoping out the potential. After all, you want the best candidates even if they work for the competition. Let’s rephrase that – you want them BECAUSE your rivals employ them.
Not only can you make connections on the down low, but you don’t have to waste time, money or energy. HR events are tailor-made recruitment conferences as everybody there is on the same page. All you need to do is hone in on your targets and introduce yourself face-to-face to make a lasting impression.
By hinting you’re recruiting and (subtly) listing your job perks, you can get the ball rolling with candidates you know are up to the grade.
All of the above have one thing in common: they’re not comfy. Speaking to people in a professional setting, regardless of the agenda, is out of most people’s comfort zone. Even those who are good at it would prefer to find a new way to do it without feeling vulnerable.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the best results come from putting yourself out there. It’s easy to read a journal from the safety of your living room or to listen to a podcast at the gym, but how often do they change things?
Talking to professionals about their experiences and asking questions puts things into perspective. It won’t be nice, yet it’s very necessary.
Do you attend events and conferences? What do you find beneficial?