With tech conference fees that can cost more than a used car, shelling out big bucks to listen to people speak should provide you with undeniable value. That’s what you expect, but it’s not always what you get.
You only have to attend a couple of tech conferences to notice the repetitive nature of the panel discussions. Didn’t you see the same people having the same discussion at the last event you paid $1,000 to attend?
With panels of speakers having the same conversation no matter what conference you attend, it’s no wonder people are bored with tech conferences.
The solution is industry specific conferences
When you’re a business owner looking for specific ways to grow and support your business beyond the general advice you get from popular tech conferences, you need to find the smaller conferences that cater to your industry.
Instead of falling asleep at tech conferences listening to endless panels on social media marketing, attending industry specific conferences will benefit your business in the following ways:
- You’ll meet highly successful people in your specific industry. You can learn heaps of useful strategies and tips from people who have more experience and greater success than you do. People love to share their success stories, and it’s to your advantage to listen.
- You’ll get updated on industry regulations. If you haven’t had time to check the new regulations in your industry, if anything major has changed, you can expect to hear about it from others.
- If you’re new to the industry, you’ll get a great education. Nothing beats being surrounded by experienced professionals in the industry you’re breaking into. You’ll learn significantly more from a live conversation than you will by researching alone.
Even if you’re not new to the industry, you’ll meet people who have a broader life experience than you. You can pick their brain for ideas and maybe even solve some problems by listening to a fresh perspective.
Some wonderful examples of industry specific conferences being held around the world are:
- Flexera Software hosts SoftSummit Europe—a yearly summit held in London and Munich, dedicated to helping software companies monetize their software and simplify their licensing process.
- Hosted by the South Florida PHP Community, the SunshinePHP conference held in sunny Florida is a fun place for PHP developers to connect. They host great speakers, workshops, and even a Hack-a-thon.
- Midem is the world’s largest music industry conference held every year in Cannes, France. Midem provides a platform for producers and talent to network, and even sign deals. They also hold contests for music-related startups to pitch their concepts to big names in the industry.
Industry specific conferences are more affordable
Before you pay another $1,000 to experience déjà vu, check out this summary of the top 50 conferences put together by TheMuse.com. This list includes events for the music industry, journalists, recruiters, human resource professionals, and more.
You’ll find the ticket prices to be much more affordable for these smaller conferences, but that doesn’t mean they’re less valuable. The larger tech conferences know there’s in high demand to attend, so they can get away with exorbitant ticket fees.
Attend conferences catering to other industries
Lifelong learning through the continual pursuit of knowledge is the sign of a successful person. Self-starters are people who will take every opportunity to learn and grow because they know the value of diverse knowledge.
Attending some of the smaller conferences outside of your immediate industry can be a great way to keep learning. Not every conference you attend needs to be a race to get funding or get a leg up on your competition. You may discover valuable wisdom shared by professionals outside of your industry.
Remember to bring balance to your efforts. If you’re always chasing the next big conference, take a moment to ask yourself what you’re really getting out of them. If you can’t quantify your success as it directly relates to the conferences you attend, and if you’re not walking away with solutions you can implement, you might just be addicted to the rush of excitement.
Try attending a smaller conference and see what you can learn. And instead of trying to network, bring your biggest problem and hold the intention to solve it while you’re there. You’ll probably meet people who have already solved your dilemma, which means you’ll have the freedom to move forward and shine.