Many people skip attending industry events unless they are required to. They usually underestimate the importance of these kinds of events. They find excuses not to attend such as “I have a very important meeting that day” or “I am very busy during that time” or “the ticket prices are expensive.”
You shouldn’t wait until your company or your boss sends you to these kinds of events. You should be proactive and follow the events in your area and demand from your company to attend the event. If your boss is reluctant to send you, then make a case and try to convince him/her how useful this event will be for the company. You can find new clients for your business, see what your competitors are doing or observe the improvements in your industry. Also, during the event you should make yourself available to others and meet as many people as you can to increase your network. Don’t forget to ask their business cards so you can follow-up afterwards and stay connected with them via LinkedIn.
I will give you an example to show you the importance of these kinds of industry events. Last week I attended Webit Congress, one of the largest web and IT conferences in EMEA region. I was one of the speakers at the event and presented my company to the rest of the attendees. Approximately 8000 people attended the congress this year including professionals from large corporations, mid-sized companies, startups, investors, freelancers and journalists.
I was not sure who will be listening to my presentation due to the diversity of attendees. However, the outcome turned out to be much better than I expected. A famous European journalist came to me after the presentation and told me that he is interested in featuring my company at his magazine. This means free international advertising for my company. Also, I met with a few people who can be potential clients in the future. Long story short, you never know what to expect when you attend large conferences like this one. However, in my opinion, it is very important to be present in these kinds of events and meet with other professionals in your sector. Even if you are not the presenter, it is still essential to be there so you can follow the trends in your industry or find new clients for your business.