The fall conference season 2017 has already started, so I have less time for writing but I’ll try to keep up. Well, I asked my colleague to help a bit. Meanwhile, I have recently argued with my friend, a small ecommerce business owner, why it is worth visiting conferences. Now, Alex, I have prepared all the arguments and I’m ready to fight back.
Why You Should Attend Industry Conferences
The first block of reasons I’d like to share with you includes your personal reasons.
1. You learn new stuff.
Yes, you told me that reading industry blogs, your competitor’s whitepapers, and New York Time bestsellers can help you stay updated, but can you ask a book about something that bothers you? The possibility to ask for advice is the first advantage that I want to highlight.
2. This is how you will get inspired.
It often inspires when you see successful people, those who could make things happen the way they wanted. And tell me that: don’t you want to expand your business, attract new partners, and start shipping abroad? Well, meet like-minded people at the conference, learn what they did, and do better.
3. You will have fun.
Stop feeling guilty because you aren’t in the office. Networking, learning the industry trends, and talking to experts are a part of your work, aren’t they? Just relax, be yourself, and have a great time.
Why Your Business Should Attend an Event
Your company, even a newly released online store will also benefit from being at a conference. How? Let’s figure this out.
4. You will market your business.
Both B2B and B2C companies benefit from being exposed to potential clients. When you speak face to face, you can better understand what your potentials need and how much they are willing to pay. Tell people about yourself. You may become a speaker if you have unique expertise, participate in expo if applicable (Alex, this point doesn’t apply to your company as far as I’m concerned, but still good to mention), or sponsor a local event if this looks reasonable.
5. This is the right place to hunt for new ideas.
Trends, thoughts, ideas, news, and gossips are worth listening as soon as they might help you come up with an interesting idea or unexpected solution. In addition, you will stay updated and never miss new opportunities.
6. You can find a partner/contractor.
Sometimes, it is truly hard to find someone who is able to help your company grow. Whether you need to launch a Google Adwords video campaign or hire another shipping company, you are likely to find an appropriate contractor to deal with it at the conference. This is why people gather together. They simply hope to meet someone able to help them.
Here, I will probably stop to answer your claim: not every conference is helpful. Some of them are a complete waste of time.
How You Will Select the Right Conference for You and Your Business
1. Identify your personal and business goals and then read the conference agenda and FAQs.
Is this a perfect match?
2. Study who is going to participate, make presentations, and moderate workshops.
Are you interested in meeting all of those people?
3. Study the covered topics and consider a provided format.
Do you want to learn something from the announced topics? Do you feel comfortable with the format?
4. Estimate how you can use the provided opportunities.
Do you have a to-do plan? Can you pick lectures, workshops, meetings, etc. worth visiting?
5. Consider the involved costs: tickets, transportation, accommodation, and other related expenses.
Are the costs reasonable?
6. Learn the participant’s feedback, check if a conference mentioned in industry conference lists, and whether it has a long history.
Is this a professionally organized event for the professionals?
If you answer ‘Yes’ to at least three questions, don’t overthink and take part at the chosen event. To get more ideas on how a great conference should look like, check out this report from Promodo Partners 2017.