Attending industry events – is it worth it?
What could I learn?
Find out whether there are any industry experts who will be speaking at the event. We all love to learn – nobody knows everything – and given the chance, gleaning knowledge from a professional in a field you also work in is potentially invaluable. You will more than likely have the opportunity to put questions to speakers, which allows you to learn in a completely different way. Reading books and watching webinars can be extremely helpful activities, but face-to-face contact offers a whole new level of interaction.
In addition, regular attendance at such types of event keeps you ‘in the know’ regarding the latest industry developments – meaning you won’t fall behind your competitors when it comes to the newest trends on the scene. In fact, as well as knowledge, you are highly likely to gain inspiration to help your business too!
Could I win work?
For those companies who work on a B2B basis, events can be a really productive way to market your services to others. Although we exist in a world where most people locate providers and suppliers via internet searches, there is still a lot to be said for face-to-face communications. A website is often the first impression a client gets of your brand, but by going along to such industry encounters, you or a member of your team can deliver more brand impact – potentially leading to a quick client win if they are suitably impressed.
Are there any benefits for the team?
If you can afford to spare a bit of time, then taking the whole team to a conference can be a great tool for bonding. Not only are you all together, enjoying some time away from your desk, but each member of your workforce will to be on the same page when it comes to putting any learning into practice. Plus, hearing about something first-hand is generally preferable, and more likely to prompt action once back in the office!
But it isn’t just about camaraderie. The right events can help your entire team develop new knowledge and grow in their individual roles. It is very likely that each person will get something completely different out of an event – whether that be skills, understanding or confidence. It’s just about deciding which ones are going to help you in business!
Obviously, there are several other things to consider – such as cost and location. An event run by a well-known and respected body is more likely to get ‘bums on seats’ than a new venture, but make sure you take all the points above into account too – plus what your company wants to achieve from such attendances.
Do your research, and attending events can be a truly worthwhile exercise for both personal development, and the business itself.
Plus, you never know – after attending a few, you may decide to begin exhibiting your own business! But that’s for another blog…
Written by Louise Jaggar