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This time of year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with tax reporting, business planning, software updating, and everything else a company does to start the year off well.

However, what should also be on your list is planning to attend conferences and events.

It’s easy to wait for a conference or meeting announcement and decide then if you would like to attend, but it is even better to make it part of your overall business strategy.

Attending events serves several critical business goals.

Networking and marketing

You don’t have to purchase a 6-foot table, a stand-up banner, sponsorships, or pens with your logo to market yourself at an event. Merely attending, being yourself, and having a business card or a quarter page sheet can serve the purpose quite well.

When you are attending an event or meeting, you already have something in common with every business and prospect there – you are present! This is already a conversation starter and opens up the opportunity to give your – natural – 15-second speech.

“Hi, Lisa, it’s nice to meet you! Where are you from?” This is a natural question and conversation starter that invites the question in response. This is the perfect time to talk about you, your organization, and the conference. Be sure to give them your card before you separate, ask for theirs, and follow up with an email thanking them for the conversation. It probably wouldn’t hurt to jot a note or two down about the conversation on the back of the card too to jog your memory later.

Learning

While most organizations have outstanding material available in newsletters, email updates, and webinars, there is nothing quite like the communal experience of a training seminar at a conference.

Most conference presenters are experts in their chosen topic and they are going to try very hard to be engaging, interesting, and informative. They will endeavor to distill their years of experience into nuggets of valuable takeaways to improve your business.

In other words, what’s taken them years, maybe even decades to learn through formal education and painful lessons learned, is being passed to you in 30-60 minutes. It’s efficient!

Breaking the monotony

Let’s face it, business is hard. We likely all truly enjoy what we do, but it is called “work” for a reason.

Sometimes the day-to-day routine can become stale and uninspiring. Whereas, when you attend an event, it almost never fails that new ideas and inspiration can be that kick-start you’re looking for with your business.

Getting out from behind the desk, meeting people, traveling, going somewhere new (if it’s only down the street to a chamber of commerce meeting) can be just the motivation you need to accelerate and elevate your business.

Before your schedule fills up, consider making plans to attend a professional conference and local business meetings and seminars.

2018 National Conference Schedule

By the way – some of these conferences are already filling up and have discounts for early registration, so make your plan and save!

And, don’t forget your local job fairs, B2B events, professional chapters, and general community involvement. A simple lunch or dinner meeting can have a similar impact on your business outlook!

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