Expanding Your Network
February 22, 2018
The Benefits of Attending an Industry Conference
Every industry has them, whether in the private or public sector: conferences. Love them or hate them, industry conferences are a great way to meet field leaders, learn best practices and keep face-to-face relationships strong. Considering attending your first conference? Here are three reasons why you should take the plunge.
1. Network with industry thought leaders.
Conferences for specific sectors, industries or organizations typically occur annually, meaning many of the field’s top minds will be there. Conferences are usually a place where researchers present their findings on new academic studies in the field. In many instances, speakers must submit a proposal for their presentations a year in advance to be considered for presenting at the event. Whether in a scientific field or not, your industry’s top thinkers will be at the conference, making it the perfect place to finally connect with them face-to-face or introduce yourself for the first time.
2. Learn the latest disruptions facing your industry.
Every industry changes, whether from technology, innovation, or external factors, and leaders must stay ahead of the curve to ensure their business survives. Conferences are an excellent place to learn what factors and developments are changing the industry—and how best your organization can prepare to weather those changes. For example, a client recently hosted a conference for the preservation of America’s hunting heritage and wildlife conservation. One reality the industry is facing is that hunting participation numbers have been declining for years. At the conference, several seminars, panels and presentations were focused on how pro-hunting and conservation organizations can combat this decline in participation. Finally, organizations shared best practices for methods they found worked to increase new hunter participation.
3. Keep professional relationships strong.
We all know that face-to-face meetings are the best means of communication. Meeting with someone IRL (in real life) builds trust and forges a stronger bond. In fact, according to one recent academic study, personal meetings are 34 times successful for a persuasive ask than email. Therefore, if you know your top client, top potential client, dream employer, or more are going to be at a conference, it’s an investment to attend. You’ll likely make friends there with whom you’ll see each year at the event—making it another good reason to keep going.
Conferences can be pricey, but we believe these reasons and more can make them a great investment to improve your current business or reach your future goals.
Camille Breland is a Managing Supervisor at Bond Moroch.