Is Curiosity Enough to Attend a Conference?

On Nov 3rd & 4th there is an industry educational conference coming up called “NEXUS’11  – Where ideas emerge” being held locally in Bellevue WA.  I am often asked by customers what is the value and benefits of attending a conference.  So instead of me listing what I think the benefits and values are I decided to check out what other people said on the web and see others justifying ROI for attending – this is a summary of what was listed on the first few pages:

  • An abundance of new information to be revealed
  • Networking value amongst peers –learn from others in your profession. Share with others your experience and thoughts. Meeting folks who do what you do. Gain insight. Ask questions, get free consultations.
  • Where else can you find so many industry contacts facing the same issues as your organization?
  • Direct conversations with vendors and manufacturers – are there solutions and products that you are not aware of?
  • Conferences demonstrate new ideas, how products work and how other organizations have implemented them into their environments to solve challenges that your organization is experiencing.
  • When else do you have the opportunity to remove yourself from the daily grind and take a more strategic planning viewpoint? Step back and reflect on your job and the bigger picture.
  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment – Session Content, tools, technologies, processes, vendor contacts, best practices, training, have a benefits worksheet for the conference. Source: Writing Assistance
  • Justify your Return on Investment – make sure you have session worksheets to summarize what you have learned, what major takeaways you gained from it, action items identified and the estimated impact the idea could make.  What business goals do you have before attending the conference and were they answered by the sessions you attended etc. Source: Gartner Justification Toolkit
  •  Attending a conference provides an opportunity to learn from experts, share ideas with others, and identify new knowledge and techniques. It is a productive experience given the knowledge explosion in the current information-rich era.
  • The information is already “digested’ and given to you in an easy to understand way. Practical examples/ case studies are given and questions clarified.

So hopefully this has increased your curiosity about this conference – take a look and see if you can justify an ROI on attending NEXUS’11. One thing I know for sure – as an attendee and also someone working at this conference every year, the ROI I gain is a HUGE payback for the company and my customers.

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

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