“Are you going to the conference this year?” “Can we meet up at the big conference?” “I’ll look for you at the next conference!”
Every time there’s a major seminar or conference coming up for your industry, it’s the talk of the town. Everyone’s making their plans, and you’re asking yourself, “Should I be doing that, too?”
It’s true that business conferences can be pricey, but you stand to gain far more than you spend. In fact, a great conference can singlehandedly set you up for years of success. Here are the benefits you could enjoy.
The Top Benefits of Business Conferences and Seminars
Trying to decide if the conference tickets and travel costs are worth it? Here are the many ways you can get great value out of your next conference.
1. Learn from Industry Masters
The most obvious advantage of attending business conferences is to learn from the speakers. You’ll be able to hear speakers who are experts in their specific topics, and there’s always something you can learn from them.
In addition to the content they provide, you can pick up some great public speaking skills from these conferences. Watch the way successful people speak and gesture, as well as the way they interact on a person-to-person level.
Keep in mind that if you’re going to a large conference, it will take some planning to get the best possible benefit. They’ll have multiple speakers available during each time slot, to arrange your schedule with care to get to the lectures you most want to hear.
2. Unmatched Networking Opportunities
One of the largest benefits companies can get from business conferences doesn’t come from the conference at all. It comes from the other people who attend.
A great conference can attract people in your industry from all over the country or even all around the globe. With so many people in the same place, it’s an unmissable opportunity to make new connections.
Those new connections can benefit your business in untold ways. You could find new customers, new vendors, potential investors, and partners for new products to name a few.
To some, networking at a business conference can seem intimidating. After all, how do you know who to chat with and how do you have meaningful conversations in such a busy environment?
The key is having small interactions with many people and identifying the ones you’d like to have more in-depth conversations with. When you identify those people, you can find quiet places to have more detailed discussions about your businesses and how you can help each other.
3. Convenient Meeting Setups
Conferences aren’t just for making new connections. They’re great opportunities to foster old connections and relationships as well.
Depending on how long you’ve been in your industry, chances are there are people across the country you’ve been wanting to meet with or reconnect with. Traveling to all their hometowns can be a serious financial drain, although you can read more about how to make the most of it.
Instead, you can schedule individual meetings with those contacts while you’re both at the same conference. It’s a great opportunity to foster your relationship without the need to added travel expenses.
4. Refine Your Pitches
Every business professional knows the importance of a great elevator pitch. The challenge, though, is figuring out how to make yours better.
A conference is a great time to do some trial-and-error testing. As you meet new contacts and explain your business, pay attention to how they react. This can tell you if you’re intriguing them or boring them, and tell you whether you need to make some changes.
On top of looking for nonverbal cues, pay attention to the follow-up questions they ask. Do you need to clarify the same concepts for people over and over? Is there information people ask for that you should be adding to your elevator pitch?
5. Keep Up With the Latest and Greatest
You’d be hard-pressed to find any industry that isn’t changing and evolving. Some are moving faster than others, but there are always shifts and advancements to keep track of.
Business conferences are among the best ways to keep up with these changes. The speakers and seminars often focus on new innovations, and others in your industry will also show off their latest advancements in their exhibit booths.
Keeping up with your evolving industry is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps you have informed conversations about the latest technology, showing customers and other contacts that you’re an expert. Second, it helps you see where your industry is going as a whole. This should inform your business’ next steps.
That new knowledge can help you on a smaller scale as well. At an innovation-focused conference, you may find new tools you can use or companies you can partner with for future products. You can also keep an eye on your competitors to see the direction they’re moving.
6. Get Fired Up
There are so many concrete ways a conference can help your business, but the more abstract advantages are just as important. One benefit you can’t overlook is motivation.
When you attend a great industry conference, you’re surrounded by innovation and excitement. It’s a great way to get energized and impassioned about your field. The refreshment could even spark your next great idea to set your company apart.
If you’re a manager, you can use this to your advantage as well. Conferences can be great investments in your employees because it can inspire them to be more passionate and engaged in their jobs.
The Beauty of a Great Conference
When you’re first considering attended business conferences and seminars, all you see are dollar signs. Between the conference costs, the promotional materials, and the travel expenses, it can add up to a significant investment.
Still, don’t let the cost deter you. The right conference can bring immeasurable advantages for your business whether you’re a startup or a Fortune 500 company. It’s all about choosing the right events and knowing how to capitalize on them to get the benefits above.
For more awesome tips to grow your business, check out more articles on our small business tips blog.