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20 Reasons People Attend Conferences

why do people go to conferences

People come to meetings and conferences for lots and lots of reasons.  Here is my list of 20 reasons people come to conferences – in no particular order:

  1. Learn best practices
  2. Learn new skills – How to’s
  3. Learn about new trends
  4. See a vision of the future
  5. Listen to a “Star” speaker
  6. Earn continuing education credits
  7. Get new ideas
  8. Try new concepts
  9. Listen to industry experts
  10. Gain inspiration – from networking with peers in the industry
  11. Meet new people
  12. Re-connect with old friends
  13. Share war stories (stories of difficult challenges overcome)
  14. Share your experiences
  15. Meet with like-minded people
  16. Become re-energized as you become part of the larger whole
  17. Discuss common problems
  18. Realize that you are not alone with your thoughts and opinions
  19. Meet with several suppliers or customers in one place
  20. Had to go – the meeting was mandatory

Why do I think this list is important?

I like to look for “hidden” insights that might help me change my perspective and challenge me to think differently. If I can learn something new that changes my perspective – then I might be able to come up with better recommendations, new solutions, etc.

For example, once this list was assembled, the following words jumped out at me: Try, Share, Meet and Discuss. To me, these are action words used by people that like to engage in dialogue at conferences. They are not the words of people that want to sit and be entertained for 8 hours.

Equally important, I feel like the networking objectives were really specific, actionable and measurable: connect with old friends, meet new people, meet like minded people and share your experiences. It might just be me, but I can see value in developing networking activities (technology-based and non-tech based) that help participants achieve some combination of these objectives.

If you’d like to see how you can create more engaging and interactive content using the wide variety of choices within our SocialPoint Audience Engagement System, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate greater attendee engagement at your events.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is a thought leader, researcher, speaker and award winning innovator on event technology. In 2011, BizBash Magazine added Sam to its annual innovators list. Since then, Sam has won awards from IBTM World, RSVP MN, International Live Events Association and MPI for innovation in event technology.