Keeping up with the trends in the industry should not even be negotiable for you as a business owner. And In an age where social media interaction and digital prints are on an all-out attack on physical interaction, I still strongly recommend the good old-fashioned conferences as a sure way of keeping up with the industry climate. I know you don't like distractions, but conferences are not 'mere social gatherings'.
The mistake new business owners make is that they are quick to dismiss conferences/workshops as not relevant to their Startup journey. But the results of attending conferences say otherwise. Now here are a good number of reasons to attend a business conference.
- Meet potential partners and customers
- Networking opportunities with industry stakeholders
- Insight into competitors' work/products
- Objective evaluation of your business
- Meet influencers that can drive awareness and profit
- Insight into innovations
- Acquire new knowledge and skills
- Insight into new markets
- Exposure in the industry
- Connect with like-minds
- Challenges you
- Sponsorship/investment opportunities
- Recreational value -it's fun and relaxing travelling, seeing new places and meeting new people.
When attending a conference, clearly define your goals so you can look out and work towards them in the aftermath. You don't have that luxury of time or resources to waste on something that holds zero profitability for your company.
How do I know which conference to attend?
You should read about the conference and check past editions before deciding on a conference. This will do two things for you; it will help you know if you should register for the conference in terms of its relevance to your business; it will help guide your expectations. There are a lot of industry-based conferences that are not relevant to your niche.
When you do get hold of a conference, encourage staff members whose roles will be touched on to register and attend. A skilled staff is always an advantage to the business.