By Phillip Kamungoma, Social Media Marketer at About IT
In South Africa, like the rest of the world, the “virtual workplace” trend, is being adopted by more and more organisations. The Generation of webinars, virtual tutorials and access to unlimited information online begs the question, why would you want to attend a traditional business conference in this day and age? Well here are a few reasons:
Whatever field you are in, the insight of industry leaders is invaluable. Attending a conference with talented, experienced speakers can give you a chance to learn from those who have achieved great things and have also already made many mistakes. They may have a lot of wisdom to glean from that could help guide you through your own journey.
Conferences specialize in finding compelling subject matter and top-notch speakers who are at the forefront of their fields, for their sessions. Attending the event and learning about the latest trends and how they’re being used in your industry can expand your knowledge base and give you valuable input that you can apply in your own professional career.
There’s nothing better than a good ol handshake. Attending live conferences allows you to create face to face rapport with industry peers and expand your network. Developing a strong professional network has become one of the key prerequisites for professional success. In fact, research indicates that successful managers spend 70% more time on networking than their less successful counterparts and that people with rich social networks are better informed, more creative, more efficient and better at problem solving than those with limited social networks. Industry conferences provide a tremendous opportunity to network. Attendees from other organisations can become valuable resources for referrals, new ways of thinking, solutions and best practices.
Conferences are great places to be inspired by fresh ideas, to start rethinking the status quo and get a fresh perspective on how to tackle business challenges in innovative ways. This is because they allow individuals to share a bit about their own process, their hurdles and how they have overcome them, hereby inspiring attendees to think outside the box.
Most professional conferences have exhibiting vendors showcasing their latest and greatest products and services and who would like to connect with you. You may find out about providers and solutions that might be a better fit for your business or even discover new things that could drive your success further. They might even provide solutions to problems your company, or your customers, are currently facing.
A change of scenery can do wonders! Sometimes taking a break from your daily tasks can help you reflect on what you are aiming to achieve and may even lead to a breakthrough. Attending conferences disrupts routine and exposes you to new ideas and opportunities. You’ll return to work recharged and inspired. Not to mention, conferences can be a lot of fun and there might even be free food (wink wink).