Any purchase you make that’ll ultimately enhance your practice is an investment. Some investments may take time before you notice the benefits, while others yield immediate results. While it may not be one of the first things you think of when deciding your budget, industry conferences are an essential investment in your practice.
An industry conference is best described as a business meeting for people working in the same field or industry to discuss new trends, opportunities and other topics related to that industry. If you look at your 2021 calendar and you haven’t color blocked a few days for a conference, you should. Below are the top five reasons why an industry conference is a wise investment for your practice.
Deepen Your Network
One of the most important reasons to attend an industry conference is the opportunity to network. Majority of your workday is spent meeting with patients, working with staff, or being siloed in your office. A conference provides the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who have the same, questions, concerns, and war stories as you. It’s reported that 85% of professionals believe that meeting in person builds stronger, more meaningful business relationships. A large-scale event, such as a conference allows you to create solid foundations with new leads and mentors. Networking also fosters collaboration. Often competitors are approached with a leery eye, but competitors from different states can become valuable resources for referrals and best-practices. As you reserve your space for the next conference, remember to review the website to see the keynote speakers, sponsors and vendors. Make a list of people you want to connect with and prepare a list of questions. Don’t forget to practice and adjust your elevator pitch so you can maximize your networking experience.
Augment Your Knowledge
Conferences are rife with the newest and greatest devices, best practices and latest advancements in your field. The educational component of a conference highlights new ways of conducting business and helps you discover how to be more productive. Workshops are a great option for someone who has existing knowledge in an area but prefers to learn in a more intimate setting. Usually, workshops center on one issue, are run by experts and build on best practices. Panel Discussions also focus on targeted learning. Panel discussions pull speakers together who vary in opinion, or who represent different stakeholders on a particular subject. Both offer attendees fresh ideas that can grow their knowledge base and inform new strategies.
Gain New Vendors and Suppliers
One of the best ways to invest your time at an industry conference is to talk with the vendors and industry suppliers. Conversations with them can help you to determine and learn more about what is happening in your field as they’re directly dealing with competitors and have a feel for the current business climate. Discovering innovative products and services for your practice is necessary to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world. Engaging with vendors and industry suppliers can form connections that can help you get the jump on competition in your area and create long-term allies.
Share Your Expertise
If you’ve been in practice or working in hearing health for some time, then you have knowledge that could be valuable to others. As an active member of your industry, you can develop a reputation as an expert to your peers. This can lead to opportunities to share your knowledge at other events or to write articles for industry publications. Being considered an expert can also lead to better networking prospects. Patients feel good about saying their practitioner is considered one of the best in their field and celebrated by their peers.
Be Inspired and Have Fun Doing So
We have all heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl.” Well it’s true. Not taking time to incorporate downtime into your schedule can lead to burnout. A conference is a great way to mix both work and play. As you learn and network you can become inspired by all the new people you meet and how you’ll employ your new knowledge. Harvard Business Review states ‘inspiration is the springboard for creativity.” A conference presents fresh ideas and helps remove stagnation in your work routine. Hosts for conferences today focus just as much on where they choose to have their conference as they do on the content and speakers. Conferences held at lush luxury resorts offer attendees the chance to have a mini getaway as they network and learn. Many venues have five-star spas and restaurants that the attendees can enjoy, with hosts mixing a social aspect into the learning and industry branding efforts. Some events have fun activities such as parties, golf, and tours of the local area where the event is hosted. Taking an extra day at the beginning or end of the trip to further explore the resort or visit friends in the region is also a great way to maximize the investment in travel.