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To attend or not attend?

March 30, 2017
With so much emphasis on conference calls, virtual meetings, and online demos; we’ve come to think of meeting face to face as the exception. With the rising costs of travel, and often loss of time and productivity, it’s easy to understand why companies make the choice to conduct most of their business in this virtual fashion. So when the question comes up on whether to attend a user conference, this makes the argument for justification even tougher. Let’s face it, conferences are expensive. And when you factor the cost of hotel, food etc. this adds up quickly. However, the price of not attending a user conference may be greater than you think.

In this day and age, we have sadly overlooked the value of face to face conversations. Companies may think that conducting all their business online is acceptable. The fact is nothing replaces connecting in person. Whether doing business together for the first time or reinforcing the value of a long standing relationship, a remote web ex, regular emails or the occasional phone call may not be sufficient for some businesses. A conference is more than an excuse to get out of the office, it’s a great networking and educational opportunity.

When we are spending all of our time in front of our computers, no matter how much we may love our work, it can become monotonous. We can start to loose perspective and get “tunnel vision”. While there are hundreds of online outlets to distract us, and thousands of resources to consume content, interacting with people at conferences, and sharing ideas can pump new found energy into our daily routines. But more importantly, when we connect with like-minded people that have similar challenges, we can revitalize and broaden our thinking on how to solve them. This doesn’t always work the same way by reading a white paper or watching a video.

A user conference creates a powerful learning environment that becomes contagious. Where else will you find such broad audiences with diverse skills and backgrounds from all over the world, willing to share and exchange their experiences and ideas openly. The familiar adage ‘knowledge is power” still holds true. But power also comes with the sharing of knowledge.

Conferences can pack in a ton in just a short time. They are often a platform for unveiling the latest and greatest developments. What’s working in your industry right now? What isn’t? What trends are going to be changing? In the world of technology, things are constantly evolving. Taking advantage of training workshops can pay back tenfold by discovering new ways of utilizing products you already have in house, keeping your business competitive and providing value to your own customers.

When you make the investment of time and money to attend a user conference, you will gain:

  • The opportunity to meet and learn from industry experts
  • Hear firsthand of new innovations and developments
  • Be inspired and energized to take on new challenges in a new way
  • Build new relationships and reinforce existing relationships formed online
  • Share with your team back in the office, your knowledge, new insights and how to apply them
  • Break the doldrums; have some fun

Chances are you will return to the workplace with a renewed sense of purpose, with loads of new knowledge as well as valuable new contacts that can turn into long-term relationships.

If you are wondering which conference to attend, Inforum 2017 takes place on July 10-12. You can save a ton by registering early.
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