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Why conferences are worth it

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Are conferences for administrative professionals beneficial enough for you to go to?

That’s what one reader recently asked on the Admin Pro Forum.

One admin summed it up perfectly: “If you can foot the bill, by all means do it. I did.”

We contacted some business professionals to get their thoughts on the matter.

Caring about the future of your in­­dustry is a positive way to get ahead in your chosen field, says executive and business blogger Karin Hurt.

“Professional conferences provide broader perspective of where your industry is headed, and enable you to strategize around solutions to common challenges,” Hurt says. “When you get back to work, you’ll be prepared to package the insights and ideas you’ve gained along with ideas for application. You’ll add value for your company and reinforce your reputation as a connected, forward-thinking leader.”

And don’t overlook another im­­portant aspect of conferences: the net­­work­­ing opportunities, Hurt says. The people there with you are already committed to learning more about the business and meeting people who share their interests. “Today, more than ever, it’s important to have a broadened network of professional colleagues outside of your current organization.”

“Professional conferences are a great way to make the connections,” Hurt says. “To make the most of these experiences, ask salient questions in the breakouts, sit with people you don’t know during meals, and approach speakers and other conference leaders during the coffee hours. Have a great elevator speech and use it well, and you’ll return from the conference with a great list of people to follow up with in the future.”

“Attending conferences not only helps to grow new skills, but also demonstrates your commitment to your profession,” says Stacy Lin­­den­­berg, Talent Seed Consulting. “Con­­ferences are an opportunity to learn from others and gather best practices in tackling challenges. Taking a break from your daily routine often helps you to bring new energy and enthusiasm to your work.”

“I believe that professional development is not an option anymore given how complicated the workplace has become,” commented Bonnie Low Kramen, speaker and author.

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