The Internet has changed the way we work, learn and connect, offering a variety of ways to find information, meet new people, collaborate and express ourselves. Social interaction has been forever changed by online social networking. However, there will always be value in connecting face-to-face – perhaps now more than ever before. Here are 4 potentially major ways attending professional conferences could benefit your career.
1. Meet Like-Minded Friends and Colleagues
While digital technology makes meeting lots of people easier than ever, many of these connections never go beyond the virtual world. There’s tremendous value in the face-to-face professional meeting; you can share a handshake, a smile, and valuable information with fellow travelers. Besides the obvious networking potential, there is a lot of information conveyed during in-person meetings – both verbal and non-verbal – and the professional conference helps to facilitate these human exchanges.
2. Renew Your Excitement about Your Field
Whether you are already working in your field or aspiring to, professional conferences can help with reconnecting or connecting more fully with your chosen industry and profession. Time spent in a classroom, behind a desk or in front of a computer can eventually make you feel disconnected from the field as a whole. Renew and refresh your passion for your work by being around industry leaders and peers.
3. Take the Pulse of Industry Trends
Professional conferences tend to draw in top speakers and feature the most compelling and eye-opening topics in the field. You can expect to learn much about current industry trends and the latest technical and thought-innovations. Learning the latest industry trends will invariably enhance your current knowledge base and keep you up to speed on what’s new and relevant.
4. Return to the Workplace with Valuable Learnings
Having more wisdom and tools to draw from can make you more valuable in the workplace. Hearing about industry trends and applying what you’ve learned to your own work can make you even more valuable in the workplace, ideally leading to higher job satisfaction and increased job security.
Professional conferences are an excellent way to boost your skills, expand your network and hear the latest news in your field. The registration, plus travel expenses, can be a significant financial investment. In addition, there is your time spent at the conference and opportunity cost from being away from work.
Given the money and time investment, you want to get as much as you can out of your conference attendance.
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