With the broad range of low-cost technology solutions available on the Internet, small business conferences and activities are increasingly being done online, remotely, and often instantly. You can coordinate meetings, share tools and information, give demonstrations, provide training, and so much more—all within the comfort of your own home or office.
As great as it is to log in online to access new online tools and technology, there is no substitute for live small business conferences. Here are a couple reasons why you should consider attending small business conferences, trade shows, or other live networking events that are relevant for your small business.
1. Live Networking
Unlike sitting at home in your pj’s, attending a live small business conference gives you the opportunity for in-person networking. When you attend a live event, you can physically see other attendees, colleagues, and industry leaders, which makes it an ideal time to make connections, share information and learn about your peers.
You never know when you might end up teaming up for a joint venture or make a referral to someone you met at a live event. During live business conferences, you also have access to making informal connections with presenters, including asking questions, sharing ideas, or expanding on topics that have been covered. These informal conversations that take place between sessions are often invaluable.
2. Learn About Competitors in your Niche
If you run a content marketing business and are attending a small business conference that focuses on content strategy, your competition is likely attending for the exact reasons. Live conferences allow you to see first-hand who your competitors are. Once you’ve nailed down on who they are, you can easily find out more about their businesses, gather relevant information on their strengths and weaknesses, and even conduct research that will help give your business an edge.
3. Educational Opportunities
To stay well ahead in the races, small business owners are constantly looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Although there are myriad of conferences held online or through web conferencing, there are some key educational benefits that you can’t access unless you are there in person.
Live conferences open doors to watching and learning through visual cues, body language, and the overall atmosphere. These non-verbal elements and the opportunity to see, feel, touch, and absorb the information can add a new level of learning that is not accessible through attending conferences online.
4. Market to Potential Customers in your Target Audience
Attending a conference as a participant is great—you can network, learn, ask questions, and dive into meaningful discussions on topics that you probably are an expert in. However, you can also attend these small business events as a vendor. This will give you direct access to market your products and / or services to your ideal customers and clients.
If you know that members of your target audience are likely to attend and are in learning, networking and development mode, then it’s all the more reason to use these events to market and promote your products and services. Plus, it’s a great chance to dig a little deeper in market research and learn more about your target audience in a live setting.
5. Renew your Creativity and Innovation
Let’s be real—we all need a break from our routine occasionally—especially if we want to stay at the top of our game. Yes, you can (and should) take a vacation here and there, but there is tremendous value in taking a break from working on your business by attending small business conferences.
Sometimes, all we need to avoid burnout is a change of scenery. And if this “change” is full of educational and networking opportunities, then it might even spark some of your creativity and help you develop new, innovative ideas to better your business.
Live Conferences: Increased Value for your Small Business
Investing time and money to attend a live conference will almost guarantee value for your small business. Not only will you go home with a renewed sense of purpose to why you started your small business in the first place, but you’ll also bring home new tools and valuable contacts that will help you manage and grow your business to new heights.