I just returned from attending the Career Thought Leaders Conference in Baltimore where I had an opportunity to learn from, connect with and enjoy time with my colleagues in the careers industry. It was an information-rich experience that provided me with many new ideas that I look forward to putting into action during the coming months. I believe that conferences are a wise investment for both industry veterans and newcomers looking to transition into a new career and here are three reasons why you might find attending a conference beneficial to your own career reinvention process:
- Content: Dealing with the day-to-day demands of your job often leaves little time for catching-up with industry best practices, news and resources. Conferences provide a megadose of high-impact information: presentations, peer-to-peer discussions and other interactive learning opportunities that help bring you up-to-date in a brief period of time. As an added bonus, visiting the conference vendor areas can be another great way to learn about valuable industry-specific services and products that can benefit your career long after you return home.
- Camraderie: When you go to a conference you are surrounded by people who share your concerns and instantly "get" you. Every profession has its unique challenges and conferences provide a unique venue where you can exchange war stories, brainstorm, and recharge your batteries with your colleagues - - while having a lot of fun (and a few laughs) in the process.
- Connections: Social media can be a wonderful networking tool, but it still pales in comparison to the impact of meeting people face-to-face. Conferences provide an easy way to connect to people that you might not otherwise get the chance to meet. Even if you only get to have a quick conversation over coffee, that introduction can open the door for a more in-depth follow-up after the conference is completed.
So the next time you are presented with the chance to attend a conference, give it serious consideration. The money you spend on the registration fee, even if it seems like a lot at the time, might prove to be a very smart investment in your future career success and fulfillment.