by Paul Byrnes, VP of Distributor Development
If you’ve been considering whether to attend (another) conference, workshop or other industry event in 2017, many of these questions have probably come to mind: How many vendors are going to be there? How many new products am I interested in learning about? What does it cost? Can I negotiate enough new deals with my existing vendors to recover my attendance cost?
Questions like these, which focus on the quantifiable and the concrete, certainly have their place. Any business leader who cares about growing their company’s bottom line should consider whether or not the cost of attending is outweighed by the benefits. Part of this analysis, though, is taking into consideration the less tangible benefits of attending:
1. Inspiration to overcome the latest industry challenges. Keynote speakers, workshops, breakout sessions and networking can all help you identify and sort through topics of concern, and can provide actionable information on common industry challenges that you can put to use right away.
2. New ideas to keep your business and career fresh. You know the old saying about doing the same things and expecting different results? New suppliers and new relationships keep things fresh.
3. New opportunities from old relationships. Keeping up with old friends can provide valuable industry chatter, but it can also provide unexpected new business opportunities. Consider the power of an old friend that has been promoted into a different position or has joined a new company.
Attending an industry event is an investment that you can’t always pin an exact value to. But like most things in business, if you show up, you will make things happen.