Friday, October 26, 2012

Should I Attend A Business Seminar?

            Business seminars are everywhere, whether you are asked to attend one or you seek one out. These seminars or conferences can be about anything from general business strategies (how to increase monthly sales) to industry specific topics (IT training). With so many options, it may seem like you have to attend one of these seminars. But are they really worth the time and money, and do you really need them? Well, that depends.

Many companies offer seminars--for some, that’s all they do. These events can build on your current skills, allow you to network with other people in your industry, and give you the motivation you need to make changes. You might gain spin-off ideas as in ideas based off your original idea but with something slightly different. It can help you work on your business without having to be in your business. You might expand your social network and get public recognition for your company. If you attend a conference or seminar abroad, you can be immersed in a new culture, companies, and people. You can use it as a tax write off. If you do decide to attend one, be sure that you prepare for the event and decide how to implement what you learned afterward to make it worthwhile. You also have to register early due to limited space.

Some of these events can be very long (a seminar abroad lasting three weeks) and you need to decide if you can spare that much time away. While some offer a money-back guarantee, the fees can be very expensive and the only defense the host has against this is that it will be worth the money. Beware of investment seminars because often they try to get you to put up a high amount of money in unstable investment markets or they try to “sell” you one-on-one meetings with them. You may find that the information covered is too basic for what you were looking for and that you know most of what is presented. Some may even be a scam—it’s rare, but be sure you know exactly what you are getting and for how much.  There are a few reasons not to attend a seminar. If it’s not the right time (you are overwhelmed with your workload or the subject matter is not relevant at the time), don’t go. Self-doubt can make you think you need more training in a certain area, but sometimes if you wait it out, you can find practical solutions on your own. If you are interested in a subject but would rather hire someone to do that thing for you, you are better off leaving it to whomever you bring on (for example, if you want to improve your website, you may decide it’s best to hire a company with professionals who can do that for you so you have time to do other things). There are times when you feel as though you just can’t absorb another new thing, so maybe you don’t need to right now. Finally, don’t feel obligated to go to a seminar on a subject that you don’t need more information on just because you’ve been invited.

The average recommendation is to attend two to four seminar or conference events per year—you don’t need more than that. Use your better judgment when deciding if it’s worth the time and money away from your business. Make it happen!

 © 2012 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

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