Three Ways a Conference Benefits You

Skylar Wooden and Katie Butler

August 13, 2017

Only one thing can ruin the outcome of a conference: your mindset. You could attend the best-planned event of the year with a sour attitude and come out empty handed. On the flip side, you could reap the benefits of such an experience.

The behind-the-scenes event planners have given you all the tools you need and have left you to your own devices. Now make something of it! We’ve listed the benefits of attending a conference with an open mind, so you can recognize the opportunities when they come along. You owe it to the hard working conference hosts and to yourself to have the best time and to leave inspired, educated, and with new contacts.

1. Inspiration

Inspiration is waiting for you in most areas of a conference.

It starts with your welcome materials. In your hands, you have a tangible piece of evidence that you’ve taken a step toward furthering your career.

Next, the people. They’re all attending this event for the same reasons you are: inspiration, education, and networking. You have found yourself in a room full of people with similar interests. How often can you say that?

Finally, the speaker. The conference planners have chosen a person who will inspire you and give you perspective. Listen intently, take notes, laugh, think, be present. Enjoy the time when you can let go. You aren’t concerned about making conversation, your only job is to listen and be open to the message.

2. Education

Congratulations! You’ve blocked out time in your schedule to devote solely to this conference. No checking emails, no texting, no phone calls, and no perusing the internet for cat photos. You are at the conference to learn a new skill. Take advantage of this short period of time when the only obligation is to yourself. You can get as much or as little out of it as you’d like.

Take this time to visit booths, shake hands, learn about new companies and what they offer. Most importantly, walk away having learned something you didn’t know this morning.

3. Connection

When you’re attending the conference, look to your left and right. Everyone you see is there because they have this similar interest. You’re in a gold mine for your field. Connections are waiting to happen. Each person you encounter has something to teach you, and you have something to teach them. Take advantage of that opportunity while it’s in front of you.

It’s easy to feel like you can get just as much out of it if you sit alone and learn by yourself. While you will learn something, you’ll have missed out on a vital part of the experience. Walk up to someone and introduce yourself. Even if you just meet the people sitting at your table, you’ve still made connections. Spend time getting to know them. You’re not bothering anyone. They’re likely trying to think of something to say to you also.

This month, challenge yourself to register for a conference in your field, or maybe even a field you’re interested in. Think of these benefits if you begin to hesitate. The only conference you’ll ever regret is the one you didn’t attend.

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Do you have a conference coming up? Have tips you’d like to share about searching for or attending a conference?

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