In 2018, there are many avenues through which you can learn: YouTube videos, podcasts, audiobooks. But, too often, people overlook the importance of face-to-face communication — of sitting in a room with a lot of other people who are also invested in learning.
This is why conferences are more important than ever.
By attending a conference, you are investing in yourself and your future. You are confirming that you are worth the time and the resources. You are recognizing that there are still areas of your work that you can learn from. You can get better, and you want to get better. That is what frequenting a conference means for you.
But, that isn’t all. Attending conferences in your industry can also play a significant role in your growth within that industry. Here are three reasons why attending conferences can boost your career.
1. Attending ensures you continue learning.
The primary reason to purchase a ticket to a conference is to increase your knowledge about your field (or a potential niche if you are looking to do something new) and ensure you continue learning.
Attending a conference is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on new trends in your industry, to brush up on specific professional skills, to learn tips and tricks from others in your niche, and to help you get ahead in your career.
There are knowledge and networking conferences in Dubai and in other locales around the world that focus on everything from public speaking to tech skills to management training. So, no matter what you want to learn, or who you want to learn from, you can be assured that there will be a conference that satisfies those needs.
2. Attending gives you the opportunity to network.
The second biggest reason to attend a conference is to meet and network with other workers and thought-leaders in your industry. This is especially important if you are a recent graduate, are looking to switch industries, or are an entrepreneur.
During conferences, you will have the possibility to make connections with a variety of people who may become your business connections or mentors. This is where you can make giant strides in building your professional network, as actually meeting someone in person is a lot more memorable and effective than contacting them by e-mail or Twitter.
Always ensure you have enough business cards and hand them out liberally among the other attendees and speakers.
If a conference is organized well, the schedule will include specific times for attendees to meet and talk. Take every opportunity to speak with as many people as possible. Go to the breakout sessions, the mixers, the morning breakfasts, the evening socials, etc.
You never know when a partnership can arise and it certainly isn’t going to happen if you aren’t networking.
3. Rejuvenate yourself by surrounding yourself with similar individuals.
Depending on the industry you work in, you may or may not have a lot of contact with other people who are doing similar work. However, one of the beautiful things about attending a conference is that like-minded people suddenly surround you.
Everyone who is in attendance came because they want to improve themselves, their skills, or their knowledge in some shape or form. This will invigorate you and rejuvenate your passion for the topic at hand.
Most conference attendees leave with a better sense of self, a renewed sense of energy, and a higher drive to achieve their goals.
Whether you opt to attend an industry-related conference, a personal-growth conference, or a seminar that is related to one of your passions, you are demonstrating to your employers and yourself that you are committed to growing and enhancing your mind.
This drive will do wonders for boosting your career.
So, what are you waiting for? It is time to research some conferences nearby and get out there, to continue learning.
Have you ever attended a conference? What did you enjoy about the experience? What would you do differently next time? Let us know in the comments below!
Annick Nuyens has over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and in-house training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.