Attending a conference or seminar is a professionally rewarding experience. The two main reasons for attending a conference are to hear presentations and to interact with other professionals and/or researchers, but are these the only benefits?
Listening to presentations will inform you of what others in your field of expertise are doing and who the people in the field really are. It will inspire research ideas of your own and will expose you to different styles of presentation.
There are also important side-benefits to be gained from attending a conference or seminar:
- Socialising with colleagues from other companies or institutions – through meeting other people and hearing their experiences you will gain a wider understanding of your profession and it is also a great way to confirm that your chosen career path is right for you.
- People at seminars usually want to help each other. They will discuss the problems they have been encountered and how they solved them. They will be happy to help you through any problems you might have.
- You'll learn a lot from talking about your own work. Explain the goals of your research and then about the techniques you are using. You will benefit from receiving their feedback and suggestions.
- You'll also learn a lot by listening to others and by asking questions. Keep an open mind and try to understand their research.
- People attending are of like mind and usually are eager to share stories and experiences. You can build a network with people who could be potential joint venture partners. They have the same goals, deal with similar problems, and want to build relationships with you.
- The more conference presentations you observe, the easier it will be to give your own presentation one day.
- You can get ideas for projects, papers and presentations you can implement in your own workplace.
- You’ll feel energised about your own projects when you interact with people in your field who are feeling excited about their work.
It generally follows that the longer the conference, the more content will be delivered and delegates will walk away with a large amount of material which will help them in their careers. However, it needs to be understood that by merely attending a seminar there is no guarantee you will get the full benefit for your business or personal life and that effort is needed to apply what is learned.