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What Do You Get Out of Attending Conferences?

I was speaking with a friend the other day who was trying to decide whether or not to go to yet another conference. Money wasn’t the issue – her company paid for her attendance. She wanted my thoughts on conferences I attend since I have my own business and therefore pay for my own attendance. She wanted to be sure if she attended it was of value since she was so busy at work these days.

Frankly, I speak at a number of conferences and while there to speak, I always take the time to attend the conference and listen to the other presenters. I also use the time to network with others and share best practices – it helps in opening up new ideas and learn about where the industry is heading.

If I’m not speaking at a conference – I make a decision to attend based on the following:

  • The average number of people who attend the conference
  • The types of sessions/presentations available and backgrounds of the speakers
  • References/recommendations from past attendees
  • Networking opportunities
  • Relevancy to current events, and…of course…
  • The cost!

Consider conferences an opportunity to develop yourself professionally and personally. Look for the opportunity to:

  • Further develop your current skills and knowledge
  • Learn some new skills/new knowledge
  • Network with others
  • Learn about a new field or industry

Don’t attend a conference and skip the sessions to play. What a waste! Consider conferences another opportunity to develop your skills, learn something new and build strong relationships with colleagues.

What about you? What do you find of value when you attend conferences? Please share in the Comments field below. Thanks!

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