Conferences are a fact of life for many people in business, while for others they are events that might have been considered but never attended. Whichever category you fall into, it is important to understand how useful a conference can be in order to ensure that you get the most out of your attendance, or indeed take the first step and book yourself a place on one.
Throughout your working career you have no doubt heard people complain about having to attend business conferences, but do not take their word for it before embracing one yourself. At a business conference you have an opportunity to network, building relationships and rapport with other like-minded business people who could be beneficial to your organisation while distilling your own ideas and searching for new inspiration.
In business one of the most important things you can do is build a network of people with whom you can have a mutually beneficial relationship. Whether your organisation is big or small, meeting people in similar or related fields can help you to grow your current business as well as move into related areas.
To be effective, it is important that you do not fear approaching people and networking is easiest in a conference setting as everyone who is there is intending to do the same thing. No one will think twice if you ask to take his card or give out yours and it can be an ideal way to make many relationships at one time.
Be sure to question the people you meet so you know exactly what role they are in and have a clear picture in your mind of how your relationship could be useful. If you don’t have a good memory, jot notes on the back of their business cards, as this will make your next contact after the conference go much easier.
Attending a business conference gives you an opportunity to fully focus on your business and what you need to achieve success. At work you will often have many competing priorities that make concentration difficult, but conferences make it easy to focus on a particular aspect of your business that you want to improve.
Everyone around you will also be focused on similar things, so it is a great opportunity to discuss aspects of your business in detail with people who are in the same position. This makes it easy to seek information from others and consider how to implement new ideas and work streams into your own business.
This focused opportunity to network will help you immeasurably if you are looking for new ideas for your own business. People at conferences are usually eager to discuss their business plans and models and you may find that you come across a number of ideas and concepts that will help your business to grow. New ideas should always be welcome, so take the opportunity to study your competition as well as similar businesses that are further away and not direct competition. Innovation is often the mark of a successful business and attendance at a suitable conference can really help you to consider new ideas, technologies and approaches that will make your business boom.
This guest blog was written by Francesca who comes from the UK. If you are in need of venues for conferences in Liverpool, she recommends the University of Liverpool – visit their website for more info.