Let’s be honest. We are all busy. Many business professionals report being overworked and there are more distractions today than at any other time in history. Social media, digital tools and mobile apps have taken over our lives; we never get a break because we are always connected to work and home.
It is easy to think that all we need is just a click away – with that mindset, attending face-to-face meetings can seem unnecessary. Yet there are many reasons to get out of the office to join a meeting or conference and network with your peers in person. When you have face-to-face engagement, you gain so much more than you will ever receive from likes, links, shares and follows.
Career growth and opportunities come to those who are engaged and participate in their industries. This can mean going to trade association events or attending conferences hosted by vendors. Getting to know others who work in similar roles and meeting suppliers, referral sources, and industry experts will help you improve at your job.
When the time comes to commit to a conference, people begin to think of all the reasons NOT to sign up. Taking a few days away from the office to participate in a trade show or seminar can seem like a waste of time. However, these live connections might be uncover new ways to get better at your job and provide more value to your company and your customers.
While conference agendas are packed with learning, most people find the real value in networking. Often people fear a conference will have too many of their competitors in attendance. Many rationalize that being around competitors can be a waste of time, or worse, a chance for others to steal their ideas. But not everyone in your business is actually a competitor -- many can be allies and friends. If there are competitors present, why would you let them make all the networking connections and learn the cutting-edge information? Your participation will make you more competitive.
AspenTech’s OPTIMIZE 2019 is coming up in May. If you are thinking of registering, get past the reasons to skip it. Your mindset about participating will impact what you get out of the conference.
Here are five reasons to attend:
1. Networking with peers.
User conferences provide a great opportunity to network. Often the host company’s other customers can become valuable resources for best practices. You may discover parallels with other industries or meet people addressing similar challenges -- the life lines we need to advance in our jobs these days. Collaboration is the way to approach networking. Most people will help each other uncover ideas and spark inspiration when they connect on a personal level.
2. Educational opportunities.
No matter how experienced you are at your business, everyone can learn. Exposure to a variety of points of view, new ideas and trends can empower you to better prepare for the future. The main portion of this conference can expose you to new ways of conducting your business and help you discover how to be more productive. In addition, OPTIMIZE 2019 offers the option to attend training on specific software programs to use them more effectively.
3. Position yourself as an expert.
When you are active in your industry, you can develop a reputation as a trusted advisor to your peers and clients. Those who speak at live events usually become known as the go-to people inside their companies and beyond, bringing exposure to the work they’ve done. Opportunities come to the experts in any industry.
4. Get to know the team at AspenTech.
When you work with a company, many of the people you interact with are just names on an email list or voices on a conference call. But when you meet them in person, it makes your ongoing conversations much better. Getting to know your suppliers on a more personal level leads to better customer service and exposure to cutting-edge information.
5. Have fun.
Being in business should be rewarding and fun. Industry conferences can add a layer of enjoyment to managing your career growth by mixing a social aspect into your learning and industry branding efforts. Events have fun activities and you may get a chance to explore a new city. Taking an extra day at the beginning or end of the trip to sight-see or visit friends in the region is also a great way to maximize the investment in travel. Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!
Many falsely believe that since they can now access industry information via the internet that the days of the live meeting are gone. The truth is, events are more important than ever: 2018 was the strongest economic year in the meetings industry. The value in live events comes from the human-to-human connections.
Remember, serendipitous hallway conversations can be some of the most valuable parts of attending an event. While these are not on the agenda or mentioned in the breakout sessions learning objectives, when people begin to discuss topics on a deeper level, they gain value from the exchange. These connections to people bring the ROI for your time at a conference.
Inspired to sign up for OPTIMIZE 2019? Register here.