Business Conferences: Should You Attend?

Conferences and events

Business conferences are about exposing people to new information in a particular industry and staying up to date with the trends in your industry. However, during the past decade, we have seen a steady decline in how many companies actually attend trade shows. There are a few reasons for this decline:

    • Search engines and websites have provided most companies with the tools they need to research and present their offerings, without needing to leave the office.
    • There’s no need to wait for an annual show to familiarize yourself with the latest developments in an industry. You can get updates in monthly or weekly newsletters, or even RSS feeds from a reliable source.
    • Social media sites and online forums have made it easy to build online communities where contacts can meet and exchange information—whether through webinars, chats, or virtual conferencing.
    • Investing in travel costs, exhibition costs, and time needs to be justified.

    • Also, the recent green movement encourages many companies to minimize carbon emissions or to offset the carbon footprint for attending industry conferences.
    • On top of everything, the events of 9/11 introduced many long and tedious security procedures. Traveling by plane is no longer as convenient and many do not feel as comfortable with flying to attend conferences.

So, these days, business conferences aren’t as crucial as they used to be. For most companies, I wouldn’t recommend even attending them , however there are exceptions for some industries. Sometimes, the opportunity to network in person at conferences can be too important a chance to pass up. Sometimes, there is regional interest or a very closed industry community, where meeting in person is more valuable than meeting online. Generally, the best approach is to attend conferences where you can secure speaking opportunities in front of your target market. This will give you added visibility and credibility, which can generate new client leads.

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