The value of
by Tash Hughes
of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au)
Sitting at your computer or work
desk, you can feel there are too many things to do in a
work day so why try squeezing in a seminar or conference
Or maybe cash flow in your business
isnít great at the moment so itís very hard to justify
attending a business event.
But there is enough value in such
events that it is worth considering them occasionally.
Why go to a business event?
The main reasons that business events
are worth considering are:
It gets you out of the house and
away from your business. This is good for you and
also gives you distance that can help create ideas
and solve challenges
You get to communicate with other
people. You may learn from their mistakes/expertise,
you may find some information about your target
market, you hear fresh ideas, you can meet potential
suppliers and joint venture partners, and you
use/practice your social skills!
You can learn a lot from the
speakers at such events, on topics relevant to your
industry or to business in general. You may be
surprised at how much useful information and ideas
you can get from even a poor event.
There is the possibility than you
can tell people about your business Ė many events
have networking opportunities, some allow attendees
to announce their name and business, and some even
allow attendees to distribute business cards/flyers
at the event.
A good event will motivate and
inspire you, meaning you will be more productive in
the days following the event.
Mixing with other business people
is encouraging Ė you know you are not alone in the
small business world.
Is it worth the expense?
The price of events can vary greatly,
and is not always an indicator of the value of
information received. I have been to great free events
and mediocre expensive ones, so donít just use the cost
to choose an event.
As long as the event is business or
industry related, the cost of attending will be a
business expense that you can use as a tax deduction.
When choosing the value of an event,
there are a number of factors to consider in determining
if the price is worthwhile. Some initial points to look
Is the topic of interest to you?
Is the topic relevant to you
and/or your business? (No matter how cheap the
event, a seminar on using a PC as a cash register is
useless if you donít have a real life shop)
Is the seminar being run by a
group that you know or that has a good reputation?
Do you know of the speaker(s)? Do
you respect them enough to trust their information?
Are any extras included in the
price? Sometimes the price includes a meal or snack,
a set of notes, a book, a CD or a goodie bag
How long is the event? Obviously,
you expect a weekend conference to cost more than a
two hour seminar
What level will the information
be pitched at? Are you expected to have a certain
amount of knowledge or experience to understand the
How to get the most value from an
Each event is run differently but
there are some general points that will apply to most,
if not all, business events you will attend. The
benefits of attending can be maximised by:
Listen carefully to the speaker(s).
That means listening to the tone of voice as well as
the words as you can sometimes get ideas and
understanding by Ďlistening between the linesí.
Take notes as you listen. You
donít want to write down every word as then you
wonít be listening, but writing down any key points,
references and ideas you get will help you remember
the details later. Writing also helps you remember
the information better anyway.
Arrive before the start time. Not
only does this reduce any stress about running late,
it will give you a chance to look at any materials
provided by the organisation and/or speaker.
Be willing to talk to people Ė
before, during and after the event. This can be one
of the most valuable parts of the entire exercise so
donít waste it. It doesnít have to be intellectual
or obvious business talk, just make contact with
Although it is easier to walk into an event with
someone you know, you may have more success
networking if you attend by yourself.
Put at least one idea or piece of
information to use within 24 hours. This cements the
ideas and makes use the motivation from the event.
Contact anyone you networked with
within 48 hours Ė better yet, within 24 hours Ė
especially if you can help them in some way (maybe
they mentioned needing a mechanic and you know one
or they couldnít find a website about widgets so
send them the link to one.)
Review the speakerís website
beforehand and read their articles or blog
afterwards to support what you learned at the event.
Consider taking a client with you
to some events. It gives you time with that client
and builds the relationship while also giving them
information and networking opportunities
Check for other events held by
the same group as booking for a few at a time often
makes each event cheaper (for example, one seminar
is $35 but three are $90 if booked together.)
Clear communication is critical to
the success of any business, but it is often left to
care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a
professional and skilled writer who makes technical and
otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a
business needs to communicate with. Next time you need
webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other
business document, visit
see how Tash and her team can help your business