5 Reasons to Send Employees to Trade Shows and Conferences

conferencesThere’s no way around it—industry conferences and networking events are expensive. As a team manager or executive, it can be difficult to justify this expense. But, live events provide a unique opportunity for your team to network, develop important skills, and ultimately improve your business.

Keep reading for our top five reasons to send your employees to industry conferences this year!

1.     Skill development

If you send your team to conferences and events, they’ll learn new skills and develop existing ones.  They’ll hear from thought leaders and experts at the forefront of your industry and will leave with a fresh supply of tips and best practices to implement—which they can then share with colleagues back in the office.

Firsthand experience at events gives your employees an opportunity to grow—to be the first in the industry to collect information on new tools and best practices.

2.     Networking opportunities

Another obvious benefit of industry events is the opportunity to network with other companies, industry experts, and other notable members of your community. Not only will your employees form personal connections, but they’ll also be able to speak on behalf of your company— but more on this later.

The bottom line is—face-to-face communication facilitates connections and business opportunities in a way cold calling and emailing can’t. It’s not uncommon for individuals to leave an event with new partnerships, potential business leads, and new tactics.

3.     Brand awareness

Business events put your organization on display. While this may not seem significant, attending industry events is a huge step toward developing a recognizable, reputable brand.

It’s important to note that your employees are a direct reflection of your company. Be sure to send employees who will be engaged and professional—and who also have a comprehensive understanding of your company and products.

4.     Content creation

In the past, employees would go to events, do a little networking, and maybe bring back some useful information. Now, with live tweeting, blogging, and video streams, your company can leverage the event to improve your content marketing strategy.

If you plan to share the event experience through your business’ professional channels, here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Research: Live coverage requires employees to think on their feet and instantly recognize what will make good content and what won’t. To do that, your employees must prepare ahead of time. Be sure to analyze the event itinerary and pick sessions that will make for a good social or online experience.
  • Use the event hashtag: Be sure to use the right hashtags to maximize your social media exposure. This ensures you are a part of the broader conversation surrounding the event online.
  • Offer diverse content: Tweeting out meaningful quotes from speakers is great, but that shouldn’t be the full extent of your live coverage. Get creative! If your coverage consists of unique content, your online engagement will skyrocket. Remember, there are people tuning in from home, just waiting for your updates.
  • Event follow up: Timing is everything when it comes to event follow up. If you’re not the first to post a recap or send out a follow-up email, another company will do it, and no one will pay attention to your content

5.     Morale and employee engagement

Let’s face it: Even the most devoted employees’ experience moments of restlessness. Events provide the perfect remedy to help rejuvenate and bring inspiration to burnt-out employees. Not only is this type of event a productive trip, full of valuable insights to fuel future performance, but it’s also an enjoyable experience that breaks up the day-to-day routine. Upon their return, your employees will feel refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

Plus, sending employees to an event can express how much you appreciate them and are willing to invest in their future. By selecting them to attend, you choose them to represent your company – something any employee should feel proud of.

2018 Industry Conferences and Events

If you work in sales and marketing, we recently put together a list of industry events we’re excited about this year.  Check it out here: 7 Professional Events We’re Looking Forward to this Year.

On that list you’ll find this year’s Growth Acceleration Summit.  This three-day conference takes place on June 18th-20th in Boston.  Attendees will learn valuable strategies and insights designed specifically for marketing and sales professionals. The 2018 Growth Acceleration Summit features an all-star lineup of speakers who will all explore this year’s theme: marketing and sales productivity.

Learn more or register here.

Growth Acceleration Summit

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