Finding Industry Events and Conferences
Gain knowledge and improve your business skillsThere's a tendency among busy professionals and other types of small business owners to keep the head down and nose to the grindstone. But you shouldn't allow the daily grind to keep you from attending or participating in industry events and conferences.
These events provide a great opportunity to make important connections and stay on top of industry changes. As a participant in such events, you can promote yourself as an expert in your field.
The benefits of industry events and conferences include:
- Networking and PR opportunities — from speaking at an industry event to advertising your company in a conference directory.
- Staying at the forefront of your changing industry.
- Continuing education.
- Exchanging ideas and experiences with peers.
Tune up at technology events and conferences
Run to retail events and conferencesThe nation's retailers — both large and small — gather often for events and conferences on topics such as loss prevention, online merchandising, advertising and hiring.
Measure yourself at manufacturing events and conferencesManufacturers face unique challenges that are addressed in international and local events.
Find what you're missing at foodservice events and conferencesRestaurateurs, caterers, coffeehouse owners and others in the foodservice industry can find industry events on hundreds of important topics.
Go for general business events and conferencesIf you're looking to brush up on basic business skills, for example sales and marketing or customer service, check into conferences on those areas.
Regional events and conferencesContact your local chamber of commerce as well as the convention and visitors' centers for nearby cities to see what events and conferences are headed your way.
Subscribe to trade and specialty pubsIt's a fundamental tenet straight out of Business 101: keep abreast of industry happenings by reading trade journals and other publications geared toward your specialty. Many trade journals include events calendars or lists of upcoming conferences.
Tap into trade showsMany conferences and events occur in tandem with trade shows. Depending on the show, you may be able to purchase separate admission to conferences and seminars if you aren't planning on attending the trade show.
- If you're new to the conference or industry events scene, attend one locally to save costs, get a feel for what to expect, and determine if future participation is worthwhile.
- Discover which industry happenings are considered must-attend events by searching for blogs and pod casts specific to your industry.
- If you travel frequently for business, tap the concierge at your hotel and others nearby and ask about notable annual events and shows.
- Industry events and conferences are held on national, regional, and local levels, and different vendors and presenters will appear at each of these, so be sure to investigate a variety to find the best fit.
- Check local colleges, universities or continuing education programs to troll for speakers or events in your field.
- Check with your accountant or supervisor to know exactly what to write off or voucher as an expense.
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