Going to a conference can be costly. Travel and transport, paying for accommodation and all manner of costs can deter you from going. But conferences don’t have to be a waste of funds; on the contrary when used properly, they can actively lead to future business prospects.
Conferences take place throughout Britain and are increasingly held in easy to get to positions, rather than those that are the cheapest to rent. For instance you can be in central London conference venues one week, and the next you can be in conference venues Birmingham way. It goes without saying, both of these cities are easy to access and don’t necessarily require overnight accommodation. However even if you do have to pay for expenses, conferences are still worthwhile and here’s why.
Networking is far and away the greatest reward you will reap from going to a conference. Making new contacts and reinforcing existing ones can lead to a plethora of future business opportunities and these contacts can often get you out of a hole in times of need. Whatever your occupation, it’s always a great idea to know your competition and make friends and connections in the process. Always remember the old saying: it’s not what you know, but who you know.
Everybody can learn from the experiences and studies of our colleages. Conferences are great for both beginners and old hands in any aspect. The young can glean information from the more knowledgeable, whilst fresh blood can bring new ideas and different ways of looking at situations and subject matter. You never stop learning, and conferences can be perfect places to pick up new ideas and alternative views. If you are new to public speaking, conferences are also perfect places to learn about this valuable but hard to master skill.
Conferences are a when you need to sell you. At the same time as networking you will need to make yourself notable and stand out as an expert or professional in your subject. Successful branding can open plenty of doors and lead to all kinds of business proposals in the future. Tailor your branding to your niche. For instance, if you are working in journalism, make sure you have business cards that include information of your website or blog, or go one step better and take a tablet device with you so you can show people your work on the spot.
Peter O’Halloran is a freelance business consultant. He recommends ETC Venues for London conference venues.