There are probably a handful of reasons you can name right now for why you shouldn’t, or don’t want to, attend business-related conferences. For one thing, many of us feel like we spend enough time at work. The idea traveling somewhere and spending two to three days discussing your job may seem less than appealing. Also, managing logistics in order to spend that time away from home can be challenging. Finally, you might wonder why you should travel to an event in order to learn about your career when you can simply do some reading online or pick up an industry journal. Keep reading, and you’ll soon discover some benefits of attending professional conferences.
Meet Colleagues In Person
You probably interact regularly with colleagues from other areas of the country, perhaps even from around the world. The internet and other technological advances allow us to do that. It’s great to be able to collaborate with knowledgeable peers in order to produce a joint research study or to ensure satellite offices are all on the same page, but there’s nothing like sitting down face to face with someone you admire.
Discover the Newest Innovations
When you’ve been doing the same kind of work for a significant amount of time, it’s easy to find yourself in a rut. Becoming too comfortable in your position can lead to career burnout due to lack of mental stimulation. It can also cost you the opportunity to advance in your career. Going to live networking events lets you discover the newest innovations being used in your field or to learn what others are doing at their institutions that works.
Become Excited Again
Along these lines, conference attendance is a remarkable tool for becoming excited about your career again after a period of burnout. Learning new information is often quite effective in renewing interest. Talking to your industry colleagues can be a fantastic way to gain perspective, set new goals and feed off of each other’s excitement.
Expand Your Network
Building a solid professional network is one of the most strategic things you can do for your career. By developing relationships with others in your field, you’ll undoubtedly make each other’s lives much easier. Colleagues are the perfect people to bounce ideas off of, hear about available career advancement opportunities from, learn from and commiserate with. Just be sure you’re always offering as much as you’re being given. A reciprocal networking relationship is likely to last a long time.
Believe it or not, professional networking events are a great way to unwind and have some fun. There are usually social events planned, and sometimes it’s just nice to get away and to shake up your routine a little. You’re likely to return to work renewed and eager to implement your new knowledge.
If professional development activities aren’t emphasized at your company, do a little research to find useful events. You can usually find ads in industry journals or through professional organizations related to your field. In addition, there are organizations like GovNet that work to connect people in certain sectors to each other and to various learning opportunities. Ask your colleagues, and do a little online research. Then start planning to attend the next big professional conference.