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:
- Learn best practices
- Learn new skills – How to’s
- Learn about new trends
- See a vision of the future
- Listen to a “Star” speaker
- Earn continuing education credits
- Get new ideas
- Try new concepts
- Listen to industry experts
- Gain inspiration – from networking with peers in the industry
- Meet new people
- Re-connect with old friends
- Share war stories (stories of difficult challenges overcome)
- Share your experiences
- Meet with like-minded people
- Become re-energized as you become part of the larger whole
- Discuss common problems
- Realize that you are not alone with your thoughts and opinions
- Meet with several suppliers or customers in one place
- 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.