How cultivating a conference swagger can catapult your career
In other industries an increase in technological advancement can lead to their death knell, but not so in the logistics and supply arena. In our industry, instead of being replaced by technology, we seem to be repurposing and reinventing it. Like Arnie in the Terminator, every time a challenge is thrown at us, whether it’s a Global Financial Crisis, a Tsunami in Japan or a war in Syria, we seem to keep coming back with new gadgetry to add to our ever increasing arsenal of supply chain and logistics solutions.
So what does that have to do with conferences? Well to keep up this Arnie-like pace we often find that the only walking we tend to is to the coffee machine every day and our only view is out the office window.
That is where industry conferences and events can provide the change of perspective that reinvigorates and inspires. The benefits can be outlined in two main categories, as listed below:
Learning: there is only so much you can pick up from reading a textbook or white paper. It is so much easier to learn by talking and listening directly with industry peers.
Inspiration: There is nothing more affirming than being surrounded by like-minded people and industry leaders who are successful in their field. Often this provides a great opportunity for you to obtain favorable feedback on your own position as a knowledge expert and to build your professional reputation.
Networking: This is the gold. The main prize of attending any industry conference. There are some people who travel the world going from one event to the next, some with little real industry achievement behind them. They build entire careers just from handing out their business cards at conferences and talking the talk. To emulate their success, we must arm ourselves with a box of business cards, dress to impress in our best and practice the “conference confidence strut” in front of the mirror. As silly as it sounds, if you are successful at networking, you will build a group of industry peers who can grow into your professional support network of future employers, teachers, customers, suppliers and become an immense value and resource for you in your career for years to come.
Having fun. Even Arnie likes to let his hair down occasionally – with the caveat that you are at a work event, even if there may be a social vibe, conduct is still strictly professional.
2. Your business can benefit
Meet new customers or contacts: As the old saying goes “There is nothing more powerful than putting a face to a name.” It is so much incredibly easier for you to meet potential customers and clients and talk to them firsthand about their concerns, show them how passionate you are about your product and your company. It often helps if you sit down with your team and work out a strategy of what you want to achieve and who you wish to connect with before you attend so that you can make the most of this.
Come back with new ideas: A conference is a great way for your employer to give you a break from the daily grind that you occasionally deserve and need while still keeping your head in the game. By getting away from your desk, you can see how other people are doing things, here about innovations and trends that you can then bring back to your business and which will then add value.
Think about it, the Return On Investment for one conference ticket and possible airfare and accommodation could be repaid many times over if you land that one big client or be the first to hear about that next big industry development.
Over to you
It would be good to hear your thoughts on:
What was the last industry event you attended that you really found interesting and useful? What did you get out of it? What would you like to see more of at such events?
To make it easy for you, there is a list below of events coming up this year around the world. I hope to see you at one of them!
Link to events: