I was in Dallas last week at the TigerPaw conference. I love learning and meeting new people so a good conference is a beautiful thing to me. This was a good one… except the trip down, but I digress.

Two huge benefits to a good conference:

  1. Where else can you go and meeting hundreds of other people who are all in the same business, but who have all tried different crazy experiments in their business and can share with you what has and hasn’t worked for them?
  2. Where else can you go and soak up great industry-specific information from a fire hose for days on end?

Bonus Benefit: Where else you can drink, have fun and legitimately call it productive for your business?

Of course, not everyone will agree with my opinion that conferences are a good thing. I would be willing to bet that most people do not get enough value out of a conference to justify the cost of time and money.

There are two things that I do that I think swing the odds of getting good value of a conference to my favour:

  1. There are hundreds of people to meet at a conference, but when you get back, you can’t maintain more than a couple good relationships. So I try to meet lots of people, but I focus on REALLY connecting with just a couple of those people. This is a strategy I believe is critical for any networking event (and in life in general). The trick is to try to find people with this same philosophy.
  2. One of the presenters at the conference said, “Business education without action is just entertainment.” Ain’t that the truth. A really good presentation can change the way you think and that can change your behaviour. However, most educational content needs more deliberate action to be of value. So I always try to come back with a solid “to do” list and I get it in action ASAP. As is the case in my first point, you also want to focus on a few key actions.

Strange. I don’t seem to have a problem capturing the value of the Bonus Benefit.