People who get to go to conferences to represent the company feel valued which contributes to job satisfaction. In fact, research suggests that employees who feel they receive training and professional development opportunities tend to stay longer. Gallup research has discovered that people who have the opportunity to continually develop are twice as likely as those on the other end of the scale to say they will spend their career with their company. According to Go2HR, 40 percent of employees leave their position due to lack of training. Consider the cost of turnover. Urgh!
Not surprisingly, companies that invest in their employees and in the continuous training of their employees land on Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list.
At a conference, you get training in a convenient package at one location administered over a few days. Hear from industry leaders; learn about trends; find out about best-practices and new technologies. Employees bring back useful takeaways to the team so everybody gets something out of it. It’s like an employee training BOGO. Collecting actionable tips, statistics and other useful information at conferences to share with your team multiplies the value of one person attending an event. If more people attend, the value keeps multiplying.
AN INFUSION OF ENERGY AND IDEAS
Information brought back to the office from a conference often leads to new impulses, a spark of energy, and exciting new ideas for your business. Few things are more beneficial to an office than an employee bringing motivational energy and new ideas from a conference. When a group of people works together for a long time they tend to repeat patterns, which can lead to a dead end. Bringing back new ideas, processes, best practices, and strategies from a conference could help invigorate the office dynamic more than one would think.
INTRODUCE YOUR BRAND TO A NEW AUDIENCE
There are a lot of business cards being exchanged at conferences. Your employee is learning new things and acting as a walking billboard for your company at the same time. Even if your company is not presenting at the conference, the attendance at an industry event improves company exposure. Connecting with other professionals and sharing experiences is an excellent way to build relationships. The people at these conferences are usually doing business in your industry and perhaps even in your geographic region. There is often synergy between your business and others that attend the same conference. You help your brand simply by being there.
This is one of the most popular reasons people like attending a conference–connecting with people that are professionally immersed in the same things as you are. People understand what you do all day simply based on reading your job title. When employees get to know new people who work in the same industry an extraordinary amount of sharing, learning and collaborating occurs–not to mention the potential business leads that may come home from the conference.
Conferences empower your employees.
Remember when your parents finally gave you the keys to their car? You had that feeling of freedom. You knew you wouldn’t let them down by crashing it. That’s the feeling employees get as they board the flight or enter a conference center, thanks to you. They too, won’t let you down.
Conferences educate teams.
When your people attend the different keynotes, speaker sessions, panels and workshops, they learn new skills and methodologies from the expert speakers. By taking notes on what they learn, they can use these new ideas to benefit your business.
Conferences make your staff ambassadors.
As your employees peruse the exhibit halls and network with fellow attendees, sponsors, and speakers, they talk about your company. They become your ambassadors and proudly share information about what your business does and who you are. This leads to brand awareness and new business opportunities.
The investment in sending employees to a conference can be expensive, but the efforts can also be rewarding. If your team is properly taught how to network before, during and after each conference, you will see great returns on your investment. These new relationships lead to new customers, employees, investors, promotional opportunities and many ideas to advance your company.