Conferences and networking events have got a bit of a bad reputation over recent years. If you hear the word conference it often brings up connotations of dull, lengthy lectures sat on uncomfortable chairs with people desperately trying to stay awake, and networking events are usually seen as awkward encounters with strangers who are probably going to try and sell you something you don’t want! It’s no wonder so many of us hit the decline button on invitations to these events in favour of staying in our comfy offices! If you are guilty of the industry event snub, then you might be missing out on some fantastic opportunities for you and your organisation! Here are 5 reasons why you should hit the accept button and attend more industry events!
Industry events are filled with like-minded people within a similar line of work to yourself, so each person you meet could unlock a new business opportunity, an opportunity to hire (or be hired!) or even just connect you with useful people who could assist you or your organisation in the future. For that reason alone you (or someone in your organisation) should get themselves out there! Take plenty of business cards (or even better connect on LinkedIn / exchange phone numbers), and make sure you work the room!
Get noticed as an expert in your field
You’ve heard the phrase that your network is your net worth – well the more people who know you within your niche industry the more you will be perceived as an expert in your field. Attending more events will also open up potential opportunities to be involved in events yourself as well – you may be invited to speak at future events, which is one of the best ways to show that you’re an expert at what you do!
Make a lasting impression
Every day we get new LinkedIn requests from people we’ve never met (and people that may never message us / engage with our content online!). With thousands of digital connections and interactions happening every day it’s easy to for us to forget about these people very quickly. Face to face networking however opens up a great opportunity to make a lasting impression – not only are face-to-face encounters more memorable, but they give you an opportunity to form a human connection with people that is difficult to achieve in a LinkedIn message! Get out there and start making friends!
Learn something new
Industry events are often packed with amazing content! No matter how long you have been in the business there is always something new to learn! You’ll get exposure to different points of view, see examples of what your competitors are up to and potential get inspired to make changes that will have a huge impact on your own business too! Most events will give you a breakdown of the content covered before you attend – so if something sounds interesting get yourself signed up!
Discover new technologies
Often the content of events will uncover new platforms and technologies that you have never heard of, giving you a taster of what these do and how you could benefit from them in your organisation. If something looks interesting, track down the presenter and express your interest for a follow up demo, you may even strike a deal on the cost if you can discuss it at the event!
Yes events can be a great way to learn something new and establish new business opportunities but they can also just be pretty enjoyable! Getting out of the office, seeing new places, eating canapes, free drinks – what’s not to like!