Attending marketing conferences is an investment of time and money. You will likely be away from your family and business for a few days and in addition, will have to spend money on the actual conference entrance fees as well as on travel and accommodations.
So why attend a conference? Well, conferences are learning experiences to help you develop your business to its highest earning potential through learning best practices from already successful individuals, picking up on the latest trends, and of course networking.
One of the main reasons to attend a marketing conference is for the speakers and workshops. You will likely meet people who are already doing what you aspire to do or who can help you work through any tough points in your business endeavors. The speakers and workshop leaders have had to prove their expertise and experience in order to be teachers and be able to present to other professionals in the business. Therefore, it is important to pay attention and take notes. Think about the conference as a consulting experience for your business where you will learn from experts and be able to apply what you learned to your personal business.
Most of you have probably read the iconic example of the railroad industry in the U.S. and why it went out of business. For those of you who haven’t, here’s a spoiler alert, the railroad industry’s business model failed to keep up with the new trends in transportation such as providing a more streamlined and faster service. Today, things move at a faster pace than ever and trends come from all over the world. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends developing and to be able to incorporate the ones that fit the best into your business model to be able to continue to meet your customer’s needs.
An obvious benefit of attending a marketing conference is the ability to meet people. However, networking is not just about meeting people but about developing mutually beneficial business relationships. People attend marketing conferences to teach or present, to learn, and to sell products or services. A conference allows all of these people to come together and to figure out how they can benefit each other. You can leave a conference with not only a new business practice or idea but also with the tools and infrastructure to implement it. In the previous point, I spoke about incorporating new trends into your business.
So for example, if you own photography business and you discover that the latest trend in marketing that type of business is the incorporation of social media. You may be interested in allowing your clients to share your images on social media but this could negatively impact the number of physical prints your customer’s purchase. You would implement this trend with the safeguards you learned in your best practices workshops but you may also need additional equipment which you can purchase from individuals your newly acquired network.