Springtime means the beginning of the conference season. Whether you’re looking to learn more about social media, marketing, SEO, conversion, paid search or web design, there’s a conference that’s right for you. You might be asking yourself if it’s worth your time and money to attend a conference. Here are things you should consider if you do want to attend a conference this year:
Planning, Budgeting and Timing
Conferences are pricey when you have to consider the cost of admission, travel, housing and other extracurricular expenses. Unless you really do have the resources, it’s likely that you’ll attend 1 or 2 conferences a year. Make sure that you check out the agenda or list of speakers to make sure that you’re getting the most bang out of your buck. The timing of the conference shouldn’t coincide with anything big going at work. Which means that you should plan it so that you’re not freaking out over a big project or deadline while you’re at a conference.
Choosing the right conference means considering which topics will be most helpful to your business in the end. Sometimes, conferences can be quite general and appeal to the general audience. In this case, you might not want to spend your time at a conference like this but look into a more specialized and advanced conference or even a training program instead.
Show Clients You’re On Top Of Your Game
Let’s say that you own a social media company. The industry changes and is always in flux. Attending a social media conference shows that you’re interested in what’s relevant and value further education in the field. Conferences are helpful in that you learn new things that you haven’t learned before. You can also get a new perspective into what you already knew. It’s also helpful when experts and peers confirm what you already know to be industry standards and best practices.
Another aspect of attending a conference is that you can show clients, peers and competitors that you’re at the conference. Being at these events gives you content to push through your social media channels, website, and even newsletters. You can be part of the events through live tweeting, Facebook updates and even tagging pictures of the event on Instagram. Clients want to see that you’re out there doing new things that will help you be more useful to their business.
It takes a certain type of person to mix and mingle at conferences. But whether you’re a Type A or Type B personality, there are different aspects of networking that you can do. Meeting new people in a social environment can be exciting and scary. At the same time, you’ll get a better feel of what types of businesses are out there and consumers who are looking for different solutions.
Networking at conferences gives your business a chance to be out there. Brand recognition is important and attending a conference will help you be more well known to competitors, peers and customers. It also doesn’t hurt that you’ll get to mingle with top experts in the field either.
Inspiration and a Breath of Fresh Air
Being in a certain business/industry for a long period of time can be stifling. Whether you work at a company that employs 50 or 15, there are times when you could use some outside opinions and ideas. This is where conferences come in handy. Meeting new people, listening to industry experts and peers will help open your mind and expand your knowledge. Surely, you can’t think that you know and have all the answers to everything when it comes to SEO. Attending a conference is a breath of fresh air and like a vacation without actually taking one. Although you’re not actually at work, having business on the brain is healthy and can help invigorate your business.
Check out the comprehensive list for 2014 here and let us know if you plan to attend any events in the near future!
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.