There is no getting around it; attending a conference (unless of course it is in your own backyard, but who is that lucky?) takes a lot of time and money. In this digital age, it is easy to convince yourself that you can save the frustration of traveling by simply reading a blog, listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video. But there are actually a number of reasons why you should attend that conference instead of simply sitting alone in front of your computer.
You should invest in yourself. Spending the time and money going to a conference is an investment in yourself. You are giving yourself the chance to learn new skills, meet new people and get out of your comfort zone.
You will meet industry leaders. It is almost guaranteed that you will be in close proximity to someone you look up to while attending an industry-specific event. You may have a chance to talk with them in a small group session, before they give a lecture or even while waiting in line for lunch.
Networking, networking, networking. Have I mentioned how great of a networking opportunity a conference is? You are given endless opportunities to mix and mingle with your colleagues, whether it is at dinner, on the floor of the trade show or even over coffee during a short break.
You’ll get to learn in a new space. Sometimes simply getting out of the office and breaking free from your normal routine can jumpstart your creativity.
You will learn new tips and tricks. Expect to be introduced to new products and systems while at the conference. You will have no idea many of these products were even in development, never mind for sale. Attending conferences gives you a leg up; just think, at one point in time there was only one practice in your area offering Balloon Sinuplasty.
You can attend workshops just for fun. While conferences are full of highly specific classes and lectures, there are also some random options sprinkled throughout. Allowing yourself to attend a session that you simply find interesting, even if it has nothing to do with your job, often turns into a great learning opportunity.
You get to have fun! Meeting new people and trying new things is what a conference is all about. Many even have fun events planned into the schedule, letting you cut loose and make friends.
While conferences are an investment, the right ones are worthwhile. Once you have decided which to attend, read the blog we wrote about how to get the most out of these events.