Are Business Conferences Really That Valuable?

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

It’s pretty common knowledge that meetings can be one of the biggest time-wasters in the business world. They’re a place where people go to talk about doing work – without actually getting anything done in the process. Today, I’d like to address a very simple question: do conferences fall under the same umbrella?

You could be forgiven for thinking that they might. After all, a conference is basically a meeting between several or more organizations, isn’t it? With that in mind, what is it about a business conference that makes it so much valuable than a run-of-the-mill meeting?

Quite a bit, actually.

Building A Better Network

The most valuable component of a conference is undoubtedly the people you meet. By attending an industry meet-up, you’ve the potential to exponentially expand your network, fostering growth within your business in the process. Not only will you end up connecting with new business partners, vendors, and investors, you might actually find a few promising new employees, as well.

All these new connections aren’t just valuable to your current organization, either. An unexpected meeting now could well lead to a new opportunity somewhere down the line. This could be anything from an amazing new startup to a bigger and better target market.

See, conferences are only tangentially about their industry – they’re more about meeting new people you can work with. Of course, that isn’t to say your network is the only thing that’ll benefit from a conference, either. Their value is a lot more complex than that.

Gathering More Knowledge

Unlike a standard business meeting, a conference actually provides you with tangible, valuable knowledge. Through both keynotes and casual conversation, you’ll be tapping into some of the best and brightest minds in your field.  As such, a plethora of valuable insights are to be had simply by showing up.

Gaining More Awareness

At any conference worth its salt, there’s going to be a visible press presence – which in turn means plenty of journalists who could give your brand a whole lot of exposure. Talk to these people. Find common ground, and have a conversation. Feel free to ask them if they’re willing to hold an interview, but don’t get too pushy – simply being friends with them could lead to a whole lot of free marketing for your business.

Relationships with the press matter just as much as relationships with investors and partners; remember that.

A Worthwhile Place To Be

Meetings are some of the biggest time-wasters in the business world – but conferences aren’t. Although it’s certainly true that there are plenty of conferences out there that you’d be better off avoiding, the majority of them will end up being invaluable for your business, both for the people you’ll meet and the things you’ll learn. Don’t make the mistake of filing a business conference under the same category as a meeting. Conferences are a whole lot more promising – and a whole lot more important to your organization.