man speaking at conference

More than a meeting: Why conferences are still worth attending

Conference season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. From the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in early January to South by Southwest in March, the early months of 2020 are filled with opportunities to learn and connect, regardless of which industry you’re in. While the educational and networking opportunities abound at these events, are they really worth the sometimes astronomical cost of attending? Here are some of the advantages to attending conferences.

Learn from the experts

Yes, we all know how important continuing education is, but let’s be honest, it tends to take a backseat to the day-to-day work. Sure, you’d love to learn about the latest trends in your industry and keep abreast of the newest technologies, but you’ve got clients to meet, staff meetings to attend, and a non-work life to uphold. By attending conference you’re able to pack all that learning into the span of a couple of days.

Meet new people

One of the biggest advantages to participating in a conference is that you get to meet and network with others in a face-to-face manner. While being introduced through email or being a member of a group on a social network is a great way to meet people in your industry when you’re not at an event, getting to meet in person is the best way to form a relationship. Whether you’re looking for new clients, partners, or even mentors, conferences offer the chance to identify and introduce yourself to these key players.

Scope out the competition

Sure, you keep tabs on your competition now. Maybe you do watch their social media accounts or monitor their keywords. But, events are a great way to really suss out what’s going on with your competitor. Are they unveiling a new product? Does their booth match the rest of their branding? What kinds of items or information are they giving out? You can learn a lot about a company by just stopping by their booth at an event like this.

Learn what you didn’t expect

You never know what you don’t know is a great thing to keep in mind at conferences. Regardless of your field, most conferences will pull in speakers who cover topics that you wouldn’t normally think to have looked into yourself. From workshops on marketing to seminars on legal implications to a roundtable discussion on ethics, these horizontally integrated sessions can provide a ton of value where you didn’t realize you were lacking.

Do you plan to go to any conferences this year? This year my team is attending many conventions for the real estate industry. Hope to see you there!

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