This Is A Conference Call: Should Businesses Attend Conventions?

October 19, 2017 6:23 pm

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It seems as if there is a convention every ten-minute. From London to New   York, function rooms around the world are full to the brim. And, if you’re lucky enough to attend one in Las Vegas, well, it’s an experience never to forget. But, aside from the glamour and over the top pyrotechnics, is it worth the hassle? After all, a business has to pay for a ticket, travel costs and accommodation expenses. And, you can multiply those by two because no one wants to go alone. The simple answer is, drum roll please: it’s your decision.

To help you decide, here is a handful of the pros and cons.

Pro: Weekend Networking Programme

At the moment, anyone who is anyone attends a convention even if they think it’s a waste of time. The reason is simple: to make contacts. In a room full of industry experts and professionals, there is a lot of arse kissing. The idea may repulse you, but it’s a necessary evil. When the company needs a favour, it will need to turn to the people in the room for help. Without attending the convention and mixing, there is little chance they will oblige. Think bigger. To grow, the company needs to be in business with the biggest fish in the pond.

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Con: Short-Term Benefits

As in, there are no short-term benefits. In simple terms, a convention is an excuse for overworked employees to slack off and enjoy the free bar. No one is bothered about meeting new people and making new contacts. All they want to do is let loose in the City of Sin and fly back home in time for Sunday dinner. Just attending won’t change anything in the short-term. Yes, you may make contacts, but it could be years before the exchange bears fruit. Are you ready to spend a small fortune for a couple of work emails?

Pro: Circulation Of Information

The best feature of a convention is the gossip. If the conference management services do their job, speakers should take the stage and address the audience. By listening to what they have to say, it is possible to learn something new. Four out of five speakers may bomb, yet the keynote could save the day. All it takes is one piece of info to change the way a business operates. Plus, there is the inevitable rumour mill. Standing by the water cooler is an excellent way to keep up with the competition as well as a cliche.

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Con: The Cost

There is no way to get around the financial aspect. Conventions cost money, and the business may not have the cash in the bank. Seriously, the price of a ticket is scandalous. When the benefits range from learning and making new friends, it’s easy to see why businesses pass. For most firms, the main priority is keeping the establishment out of the red and in the black. Spending a weekend in Vegas is not conducive to that goal!

What do you think? Is the prospect of learning new things and making contacts good enough? Or do you think conventions cost too much and aren’t worth the hassle?

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