Thom Singer, a good friend of mine in Austin, and a notable speaker and author on the subject of networking has written a great article for MasterCard business network: "Why you should attend a conference":
Small business owners are busy, so the thought of taking a few days away from the office to participate in a conference, trade show, convention or seminar can seem like a waste of time.? However, these live meetings might be just what you need to uncover new ways to growing your business.
Many think that being around competitors can be a waste of time, or worse, a chance for others to steal their ideas.? But not everyone in your business is actually a competitor, as many can be allies and friends.? The mindset you choose about participating in events will impact your results.
Sound like anyone we know in the BPM space?? Opportunities like bpmNEXT and vendor conferences are rare opportunities to connect with colleagues regardless of the roles they have at their organizations.? And they afford opportunities to meet that are less formal, conversations that aren't dictated by more precise vendor management procedures and norms. Finally, you just can't replicate the random alignment of connections at conferences anywhere else online.
Thom gives 5 reasons to attend that industry conference.? My favorites are his take on networking with peers, encountering new vendors and suppliers, and positioning yourself as an expert (even if this happens by accident!).? Do the conference without expectation of immediate return, and you may be surprised where it leads you, your career, and your firm.
Read the article, and next time you need a speaker at your conference, you could do worse than to hire Thom!