20 November 2018

Making the most of your Business Conference

By Steve Marsten

Well it’s that time of year when I go to conference. We often look for the best business conference that is available and affordable. These are often overseas – not because we want to go overseas, though a change of scenery is always appreciated but because they tend to offer value for money.

Now clients ask me what value do I really get out of a conference other than the Gala dinners (which I rarely attend) and the beer and wine? Now I take this time away from my business very seriously. I know many people go to conferences because it’s a junket and there’s no real plan to actually assess the value and what the real return is of the investment they’re making.

We have found that there are a number of good Australian business conferences that attract quality speakers. We always have a plan in place based on the agenda and a strategy to identify valuable business lessons.

So here are several reasons why I attend a good business conference.

  1. It helps motivate me to carry out the work I do. Too much time behind a desk can wear you down and I know some have said – just “google it”. There is a lot of information on the net but not all that is written is useful and truthful. It’s important to get out and about and hear from people who are doing what you do but differently or creatively or more innovatively! This is what can reignite your enthusiasm.
  2. Learning industry and business trends and how they’re implemented. Well organised conferences specialise in finding compelling subject matter and top-notch speakers for their sessions. Attending events and learning about the latest trends and how they’re being used in your industry augments your knowledge base and gives you something valuable to bring back, and possible apply, to your own business and share with colleagues.
  3. Evaluate and meet new vendors. Most professional conferences include vendors whose reason for being there is to connect with you. They help educate you on their latest and greatest products and services. You may find new tools you were unaware of, tools that could provide a solution to problems your business, or your customers, are facing.
  4. Develop ideas for content based on sessions. As business communicators, we are often tasked with the job of developing marketing and public relations content for our businesses and clients. In addition to providing educational value, conference sessions can spark new ideas for content.

Take time out straight after the conference to prepare your action sheets and assess the good, the bad and the ugly of your conference. For more information on getting the most out of conferences, call the team at UHY Haines Norton on 07 4972 1300.

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