Business Conferences: Good Idea or Waste of Time?

Being at the helm of a business, you have quite a lot of things to pay attention to. You don’t want to steer the ship of your company into a reef! You could end up sinking yourself. That’s why you’re always trying to juggle both guiding your business and bettering yourself. If you aren’t constantly striving to make your company the best it can be while also doing the same for yourself, you’re going to have a pretty hard time making things work out. With that in mind, you might always be looking for opportunities to take to improve your skills as a business leader. When a business conference arrives in your area, should you go?

Trying to decide whether or not a conference is a waste of your time or a valuable asset to be exploited can be tricky. However, we’re here to help you untangle the mess and figure out exactly how to go about making a decision on your attendance. You don’t want to miss out on something that could be very valuable for your career, after all. At the same time, you won’t want to screw things up by taking time and attention away from your business. Let’s look at the options.

Does Your Budget Allow For Such Travel?

Business Conference Trips Can Be Expensive
Business Conference Trips Can Be Expensive
The first place that you’re going to want to look at is your business’s budget. Travel expenses probably aren’t the kind of thing that you normally work into your budget, especially if your business is primarily of the local variety. That means you’re going to have to dip into whatever discretionary funds you have, if any such funds exist. Conferences can be expensive, because you’re going to need to pay for admission, as well as for a hotel room and travel costs, too. If your budget can’t support it without being dangerous for business, you shouldn’t even considering going to a conference. Otherwise, if you can afford it, you can continue to consider the option.

Consider the Overall Topic of the Conference

You’re not going to want to head off and attend a conference on a topic that doesn’t have any sort of relevance to you at all. For example, if you run a bookstore, there’s no reason for you to attend a seminar all about restaurant ownership. That would be a waste of both your time and money. However, if the topic aligns with your industry or a particular skill that you are trying to develop, the conference could be just what the doctor ordered. Take a look at what’s on the itinerary before you make a decision about your attendance.

How Are Your Skills at Networking These Days?

Polish Your Networking Skills
Polish Your Networking Skills
Another good reason to want to go to a conference is because it gives you a chance to meet people who can help you to improve your business. You never know when you’re going to meet your next greatest supplier, or a guy who can hook you up with an exclusive deal that lets you undercut your competitors. If you’re good at meeting people and making those kinds of connections, conferences can be a huge benefit for you. If you’re more of a wallflower, though, you’ll find that they’re a waste of time!

Think About the Potential Benefits

In order for you to make a firm decision about whether or not you want to attend a conference to learn more about business, you’ll have to weigh all of these pros and cons very carefully. Sit down and make a list of all the potential benefits to you and your company that would be accrued by attending the conference. Then make a list of all the potential downsides as well. Finally, add in the potential total cost of the entire excursion. Where do the scales end up leaning? That’s how you can go about making the decision that will be best for you and your company on top of that.