While some people are drawn to jobs that take them on the road, others have no fondness for living out of a suitcase and being away from home. Whether you like it or not, though, traveling is often a part of job responsibilities.
This type of travel can encompass many different purposes, but industry conferences often rank high among them.
Regardless of your industry, there’s a good chance that national conferences are put on every year to bring like-minded professionals together for several days of focus, sharing, training and learning.
Whether you’re a marketer, a psychologist, a dentist or in any other major profession, you’re probably assailed several times a year with offers to attend.
In fact, some employers require — or at least strongly encourage — their employees to attend these conferences on a regular basis.
Whether you’re facing pressure from management or simply feeling the obligation to attend, it’s wise to remember that there are some great advantages to hit the road and meet like-minded professionals.
Here are five reasons you’ll want to attend industry conferences even if traveling isn’t your thing.
Whether or not you believe in fate, some of life’s events certainly seem to be following a script. Conferences are full of these opportunities — you never know which handshake might lead to a valuable connection and a new opportunity.
By engaging others at these conferences, you may even get a better idea of what you want to do in your own career.
Learn about the competition
In most industries, your job performance is always relative to the performance of your competitors. Industry conferences are one of your best opportunities to learn about what your competitors are doing.
You can measure your own efforts against what’s going on around the industry, and more importantly, you can take some of those ideas and apply them when you return to your own company. You might even be able to make improvements on those ideas.
Make connections you can never get from behind your office desk
Professionals today have a number of different networking opportunities created by technology. But, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ haven’t completely erased the value of networking in-person.
Conferences allow you to meet people and make connections that you might never have met otherwise. This lets you vastly grow the pool of professionals with which you can interact and network, helping you build a bright future.
Learn from the experts
Most industry conferences feature a number of speaking events, lectures and other seminars. By going to a conference, you get the chance to attend a number of these events, all of which offer some form of education relevant to your work.
After the events are over, you can even approach the presentation providers to ask questions or engage in further conversation.
Recharge your batteries and get inspired
Even if you find traveling exhausting, attending a conference can be an invigorating experience. You get away from the office and spend time with other professionals who are excited and ambitious about your field.
The chance to exchange ideas and gather new ones will help you change your perspective on your work, sparking new inspiration.
Given the opportunities created by attending a conference, professionals shouldn’t hold themselves back just because they’re uninterested in traveling. It may take you away from home for a few days, but the benefits could greatly outweigh the personal expense and open doors to a brighter future.
I’m going easy on the conference circuit this Summer, with a couple of vacations lined up through July. So, the upcoming conferences that I’m attending are Affiliate Summit East 2013 and Type-A Parent. What conferences will you be attending?