If you belong to any kind of association that has their own convention you will no doubt hear everyone talk about the benefits of attending their convention or conference. As a new member you may be thinking they are just trying get people to attend and how much will it really benefit your business? The answer is “yes” and”yes” that a convention will benefit your business, but only if you go with the correct mindset.
I have been to so many conventions for different industries and all have benefits to attending. Some are one day conferences and others are week long conventions. All have three things in common, networking opportunities, educational opportunities, and display opportunities. Depending on where you are in your business may influence your reason to go to the convention. Having a plan for attendance can be the best way to make sure you get the most out of being there.
Networking is most likely the most attractive part of being at a convention. You will meet like minded people and people from outside of your area that can offer you insights from other parts of the world. With my international associations I now know people from around the world doing what I do in my home town. That allows me to bounce ideas off of them that can help my own business. If you do nothing else at a convention meet as many people as you can. I have met come of my heroes just by walking down the hall.
Most conferences and conventions have workshops and other education programs that can help you improve your skills. Those alone can be very informative and change the way you work. I make a point to attend every seminar possible at the convention but to be honest some of the best learning comes from informal chats over a meal or coffee at the event. If I want to learn a new program or try new hardware I often wait until the convention to see if another attendee has one I can try. You will certainly learn a lot at a conference.
Many conferences offer display opportunities and this can be a great way to get your business in front of others at the event. Display opportunities are usually in the form of sponsorships, trade show opportunities and more. If the people at the conference are your type of client then this can be a great way to promote your business.
Some folks attend a convention to learn how to improve their skills. Many of my friends who have attended the conference for many years go for the networking opportunities. Depending on the conference I have many times displayed or sponsored an event to promote our business. Having a plan or reason to attend is the first part of gaining benefit out of the conference. Once you decide to attend take in all the activities as if you were brand new. Meet as many people as you can whether outside your area or not. There is a power to attending a convention that can’t be explained until you get there. If you want to inspire yourself to new heights in your business or career then a convention is a must.
The Cashing in on Creativity Podcast centres around conventions this month with awesome interviews from artists like Bruna Mebs, Margaret Hogg, and Christine Whitlock. Check out the podcast and inspire your business or career.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, podcast host, and professional speaker. The Cashing in on Creativity Podcast helps creative entrepreneurs build successful businesses or careers in their chosen field. Subscribe to the podcast at www.cashinginoncreativitypodcast.com or on your favourite podcast platform. Learn more about Bruce at www.bruceoutridge.com