Self-improvement is a key aspect of the Moneystepper Savings Challenge and everything we’re doing here at Moneystepper. One of the best ways I’ve found to improve oneself is through attendance at conferences or events in areas and subjects which you hold an interest, or which you know will benefit you (either personally, sociably or financially) in the future.
Today, we discuss five key benefits of attending conferences. But, before we do, we’ve got an incredible offer for you that I want you to keep in mind when reading today’s article.
By clicking on the image below link and entering the promotional code “MS2015”, you can get up to 4 free tickets (usually £20 each) to the Master Investor conference in London:
So, let’s get cracking! What are these five benefits of attending conferences?
1. Learning new information
The first, and possibly the most important, is the accumulation of knowledge. At most conferences, there will be guest speakers delivering key note speeches that they have specifically designed for the conference and the audience; that they have specifically designed for you!
The value that most conference attendees get from these speeches is the main reason that many come back to the same events and conferences year after year.
To maximise your benefit from these speeches, make sure you take a pen & paper, or maybe your tablet, to jot down some ideas as they pop into your head. These speeches not only provide you with valuable information, but are also a great tool for idea generation. With these new ideas coming thick and fast, you’ll definitely want to be able to write them down to reflect on them once you get back home.
But, it doesn’t end with the speeches. You’ll also learn a great deal through smaller sessions within the main conference. More often than not, you’ll find that the smaller group discussions or focus groups at conferences allow you to interact with others who share exactly the same interests as yourself. These too can be invaluable for conference attendees.
2. Share your newly found information
Obviously, all this newly acquired information will be incredibly useful for yourself in expanding your knowledge and generating new ideas to help you improve yourself and your business if you have one.
It can help you progress personally, but also professionally in your career.
For example, if you attend a conference and learn some new information that is pertinent to your working life, you can devise a way to share this information with your bosses and colleagues in such a way that you can benefit personally.
As a manager or boss, there aren’t many things more impressive than having one of your team approach you with a new idea which can help the company. Moreover, if they learn that this idea has come from their employee taking their time to attend a conference, they’ll be even more impressed.
Therefore, don’t keep your newly found information to yourself. Share with other people around you and watch the benefits pile up.
3. Meet great people
Another key benefit of attending conferences is the people you will meet. You will always find that conferences in a specific area will attract people who have a great passion for that subject. You may have, no in fact, you will have found yourself in a position in the past where you would like to speak to people on a specific subject, but your usual group of friends just aren’t that interested or knowledgeable on the topic.
Well, that’s never the case at a conference. Everyone is there for the same reason and it’s great to spend an extended period of time with hundreds, if not thousands, of other people who share your passion.
So, when you are at the conference, make sure you make the most of this. Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself to strangers. It can be something as corny as:
“Hi, I’m X and I’m from Y. This is my first time here and the conference is really impressive. Is it your first time here too?”
Anything to get the discussion going and to meet new people who share your passion. Usually, you’ll find yourself meeting people who are not only great company at the event, but who you’ll stay in touch with in the future.
4. Build your network
Which brings us nicely to the fourth benefit! Not only will you have the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, but you have the chance to integrate them into your network. Say, for example, you are attending a conference in property investing. If you meet a fellow property investor in the same region as you, it could be hugely beneficial to exchange details and meet up with them again in a couple of months.
Anything you can do to expand your professional network whilst at a conference is bound to pay dividends in the future. At very worst, you’ll meet up with someone again in the future who shares similar interests with you and have a coffee. At best, you could find a new professional contact for life or even a new business partner!!
5. Conferences are fun
The last point is an easy one to pass over. Conferences have built a reputation in the past as being a chore. This is usually because you’ve been sent by your employer and you have little interest in being there.
However, for conferences that you seek out yourself and you have a genuine interest in the subject, the opposite is usually the case. They are fun!
Why? Well, as we have previously mentioned, people tend to enjoy spending time and conversing with other individuals who share their interests and passions.
But, more importantly, events and conferences these days are designed to entertain their attendees. After all, if you don’t enjoy it, there is very little chance you’ll be back year after year. Therefore, conference organisers spend a great deal of time and effort making sure that their event is an enjoyable experience for all the attendees.
If you really have an interest in the conference subject and you embrace the idea of attending the conference for the reasons above, I challenge you not to have fun!
How to find a conference you want to attend?
There are several ways to find a conference or event that you want to attend. In all cases, the thing to start with is your interest.
Once you have defined the subject you are interested in, there are usually three main ways to identify conferences that will fit the bill:
- Ask others – speak to other people who you know share an interest in the topic and ask them which conferences they have attended in the past and how they benefited from them. You’ll find that people will quickly be able to recall good events they’ve previously attended and you’ll quickly identify a couple of events that you could even attend together.
- Forums – find websites dedicated to that topic and search their forums for conferences or events. There are always discussions about plans to attend a certain events and, perhaps more usefully, you’ll notice people giving feedback on past events.
- Google – have a search online. For instance, if you in the UK and you’re interested in sport medicine, just simply search for “sport medicine conference UK 2015”. The first result is a nice ordered list of conferences in the subject including the “sports medicine winter summit 2015”, “football medicine strategies for player care 2015” and the snappily titled “International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine 10th Biennial Congress 2015”.
Work out the cost-benefit of the conference
The final task is to work out the cost-benefit of attending the event or conference. By the time you consider travel expenses if the conference is out of town, hotel expenses if you need to stay over and the price of tickets, the costs can really add up.
Therefore, you need to do some research to determine what you can realistically expect to get out of the conference, compared to the costs you’ll have to pay.
This can be a difficult calculation as many of the benefits of the conference, as listed above, are intangible or it may take a while to reap the benefits in the future. I have found that the best way is to ask other people who have previously been.
For instance, I’m currently weighing up the option of going to FinCon15 in Charlotte, US, this year. By the time I add together flights, accommodation, tickets and sustenance for the 5 nights, I’m probably looking at a minimum of £1,500 to attend a four day event.
My first thought was that this was too expensive and that I should forget about it. However, everyone who I have discussed this with (without exception) has tried to convince me that I will easily see £1,500 worth of benefits in my future endeavours as a result.
What’s the easiest way to guarantee a positive cost-benefit? To get free tickets to a paid conference, of course! Which is what we are offering you for Master Investor 2015.
No strings, no catch, just free tickets. If you only learn one thing, you’ve already got a positive cost-benefit, and I assure you that you’ll reap all of the benefits listed above by attending this great event.
If you already have an interest in investing, or thinking about getting involved in investing, Moneystepper readers can get up to four tickets (usually £20 each) for free by clicking the image below:
Remember the importance of the key note speeches? Well, this event has speeches from all of the following established speakers in the industry:
- Jim Mellon: Entrepreneur and former fund manager, worth an estimated £850m according to the Sunday Times Rich list, gives the headline speech in 2015.
- Nigel Farage: Former City trader and leader of UKIP, Nigel is sure to give a controversial and thought-provoking speech, just days before the UK General Election.
- Merryn Somerset-Webb: Merryn Somerset-Webb is the editor in chief of MoneyWeek and has a first class degree in history & economics from Cambridge.
- Evil Knievil: Back for another year by popular demand, Simon Cawkwell (aka Evil Knievil) is quite simply the UK’s best known short seller.
- James Ferguson: James has enjoyed a great career as an institutional broker, giving him first-hand experience of some of the UK’s biggest companies.
- Zak Mir: There’s a whole raft of other things going on! Zak Mir is even holding a training session for young investors, so bring the kids!
BUT HURRY…we only have 25 tickets to give away and we expect them to go quickly…