No matter what your hobbies or career choices, eventually you’ll be faced with going to a conference. Should you go or not?
The short answer is yes. You should go.
The longer answer begins with “it depends.”
Here are three things to consider when you’re decidig whether or not to go to a conference.
Unfortunately, conferences aren’t free. Some are more expensive than others and only you can decide if it’s worth the cost or not. If you’ve never been to that conference, it’s difficult. How can you know if a conference is worth the mone if you’ve never been? (Talk to others who have been, evaluate the speakers, etc.)
Aside from the conference fees, though, remember the travel expense and vendors. Many conferences have books or other merchanidse for sale. That needs to be considered when you decide on your budget.
Depending on your profession. you have to have to have a certain level of continuing education credits. Because of that, you might be hesitant about going to another conference for something you don’t have to do. I understand that.
The thing is, if you don’t go to conferences that aren’t “required,” you’re behind on new advancements and upcoming trends by the time they hit the stores. That makes you scramble to try to keep up. Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting you should chase trends. Keep with what you know and love, but be aware and ready to change or adapt if there’s something new coming up that you want to incorporate in what you do.
Conferences allow you to network and meet with like-minded people who work in similar areas as you. Yes, you can meet people in groups on Facebook and other social media platforms, but there’s something to be said for meeting people face-to-face in real life. The shared connection of the interest the conference caters to makes networking and meeting new people easier and less awkward.
The people you meet can become friends, mentors, coworkers, collaborators, and even fans of your work. They can help you promote your work and you can help promote theirs. It’s almost like having a built-in street team.
There are many more reasons to attend conferences. I couldn’t list everything here, so I thought I would focus on the top three. What did I miss that you think is an important consideration? Let’s talk about it in the comments.