We need to talk! Conferences
Why should somebody be send to a conference? Does it makes sense? There are cost involved and many companies would never imagine to spend money on sending employees to a conference . They wont see any value in it. Sending the CEO might still be considered value. Most CEO’s are not that interested though as they communicate daily on a level that allows them to meet many people. It would be of benefit for middle management to learn and network.
But why should a company spend the money to send their middle management to a conference where they might meet their next employer? Make contacts and network for the future. Their own future. It’s a lack of trust from companies where the management system and leadership is so weak that they are afraid of their own employees movements. No employee would leave a good company that he trusts and that invest trust in him.
Conferences are great to learn and develop. The more you attend the less interesting the official speeches get. As knowledge increases and you have less to learn from the average speaker you turn to learn by networking and speaking in person to interesting people that you would otherwise never meet.
There are some great speakers though and they attract attention to conferences. Unfortunately the most boring speakers can not stop and continue for hours. A good Moderator is needed to control a conference and stop the ones that are emptying the hall.
Attending events in person have the advantages:
Meeting a wide variety of people: You can, of course, make connectionselectronically, but in-person events are bringing those together who might not normally find reason to speak. If you’re conducting business internationally, in-person meetings may be required so that nothing is “lost in translation,” such as body language, spoken nuances, etc.
Social functions: There’s a lot of work that goes on during formal events and sessions, but arguably just as much can happen at unofficial or social functions, such as receptions, after-hours gatherings, lunches, and dinners.
Networking: There’s an undoubtable advantage to networking in-person.
(Julia McIntosh of ASQ communications)
The costs of attending conferences are easy for companies to calculate. The benefits they bring are very hard to calculate. Hospitality is communication. Calculating the benefit of human interaction was always a problem for our accountants but never an issue for hoteliers.