Another year come and gone, yet your inbox received the ritual email with the subject line, “conference registration opens this week.” Before you drag it over to the recycle bin, hear me out. Professional conferences have been around for a long time and oftentimes are treated as that, something that will always be around (like that best friend that you can’t take out in public). You tell yourself that you’ll go next year because it will always happen. While that may be true, you could be missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
For students or young professionals alike, these conferences are packed with unique experiences that will help you grow more than you ever could sitting behind your desk. Humor me for a few minutes and let me suggest my top reasonings for taking the time, making the effort and paying the money for your next professional conference.
Just picture for a moment, hundreds or perhaps thousands of people, all crammed into one hotel (sounds great, right), and they are just as crazy about your field as you are. If you like your job or field of study, this is a prime place to go and talk shop with people that actually care. Not only that, but they bring in the best of the best to give an address that most of the time will leave you feeling inspired and excited. Often enough, a conference will boost you up to that next level of elevation and help you meet the right people to put your career on the right track.
Developing Industry Specific Knowledge
One of the major pitfalls of working in the same field for a few years is that the work becomes mundane. You can fall into the trap of just clocking in and out, and not growing in any way. By attending a conference you will learn at the feet of industry leaders and observe presentations about growing trends and technologies. In some instances, you can receive certifications just by attending that will set you apart from your peers. If you once loved what you do, and it has become dull through the years, you may want to calendar in an opportunity like this.
Going Somewhere New
This one may not seem as obvious, but most of the time a conference is away from the city where you live and work. Why not take a trip that will not only help your career, but will also allow you to see new sights? I have been to a few different ones through the years, but most recently they will have taken me to Indianapolis, Boston and Kansas City. Occasionally the conference could take you to another country, and if your employer or school is willing to help you financially, take the deal!
Just Have Fun
What’s that old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” Attending a professional conference can be a blast! Going with new friends to experience the sights of the city, trying a new cuisine, or relaxing in the hotel hot tub at night may be what you need to reinvigorate your life. If you go into it with the intention of adding excitement into your life, you won’t be disappointed.
Whatever reasoning you have had in the past for not attending, is not good enough anymore. Take a leap of faith and trust me on this one. You won’t regret it. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me there?
What do you think? Share your positive experiences at professional conferences below.