Software user conferences can often seem hard to justify. Between the registration fee, travel costs, and time not working, it can be tough to commit that time each year away from the office or jobsite. It’s important to remember how much the benefits of attending a user conference can outweigh the challenges. Here are a few reminders when you’re considering whether or not to attend your next conference:

  1. Educational Opportunities: Even if you do frequent internal training, watch videos online, or regularly talk with support, those are no match to live, one-on-one time with an expert who can answer your questions in person. Not only can you learn from the trainer, you can also learn from those around you, no matter how experienced you may be.
  2. Networking: User conferences are a unique opportunity to network with your peers (yes, sometimes your competitors), and instead of fearing someone getting insider secrets, see it as a way to collaborate, spur inspiration, and form new connections. Establishing relationships with the supplier team is also a great way to be more connected and feel comfortable the next time you need to ask for help or reach out with a question.
  3. Environment: Getting out of your office and into a different learning environment can make a huge difference! Step away from the distractions of your day-to-day, forget about your email, and just learn. You’ll absorb so much more.
  4. Help shape the future: Most user conferences will have sessions focused on the supplier’s development roadmap and what’s happening within the company. This can be vital information for you to have as you make your own business decisions. You can also share your own ideas about the new features and capabilities you would like your supplier to focus on. Don’t miss out on that valuable opportunity.
  5. Have a little fun: this isn’t a PRIMARY justification for attending a user conference, but it is important. Enjoying the time you have to network with peers and colleagues helps build deeper relationships that continue to grow when you get back into the office.
  6. Invest in Your Own Company: View the time and expense of a conference as a financial investment in your own company. Allowing employees to gain new skills to improve their abilities and bring fresh ideas to the table will inspire both individual and company growth.

Lauren Wilson