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What’s the value of an industry conference, webinar or article?

By June 3, 2013 4 Comments

Malcolm Forbes once said that “the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one”. I love that quote because no one can give you a desire to learn. No one can make you feel that there’s more and better things of which you’re capable. That’s something that has to come from within.

In this interconnected world, there’s no shortage of educational opportunities. Whether it’s a webinar, an article, a local trade association, a networking event, a local conference or a national conference, if you want to improve your creative skills, or business skills, the opportunities are there. That said, I understand that everyday life gets in the way. Your day to day obligations can often make it hard to find the time for education. I call that your Today List and your To-Do List. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making or trying to give you any excuses, I’ve written and spoken, a lot, about how you have the time for whatever you want. You just have to prioritize your time.

You can lead a horse to water… 

As someone who speaks at conferences, large and small, domestically and internationally, I see the value of education, firsthand. I have the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people who, like sponges, come to absorb new ideas and new possibilities. I hear the feedback immediately after and long after the conferences are over. The networking is part of the benefit, and if you’re paying attention, part of the educational value. The stories of success are what make all of the traveling worthwhile. While at conferences I love attending other sessions, hearing different perspetives and looking for that one, new nugget. What I also see is a huge divide between those who seize the opportunities and those who, for one reason or another, let them pass.

I recently wrote about, yet another, conference which was cancelled due to lack of attendance. There was plenty of time to register. There were many ways to find out about the event. There were emails, social media posts, even a webinar with the speakers. The speakers and events were lined up. The location was beautiful. So, where did things go wrong? That is something that puzzles me.

I would like to think that, given the chance, most business people, entrepreneurs and even those just starting out, would jump at the chance to learn and grow. What I’ve seen at most conferences, small and large, domestic and international, is that a core of attendees, those who are already successful and those with a success mindset, sign up early. Others mull it over and wait until the last minute to decide, if they even decide at all (some just let it pass without taking action). I don’t know if they’re waiting for a better offer, or whether they don’t understand that to achieve success you need to invest in your business and yourself. A rep from EventBrite (an online ticketing service that I and others use) told me that it’s very common for most of the ticket sales to happen within the last two weeks before an event.

What’s the value of one new idea?

What can one spark mean to your success, now and into the future? The ideas you learn today don’t just disappear. They pay dividends in your future endeavors. They are the building blocks for greater and greater things, a foundation that keeps getting stronger. If one new idea can help you increase your profits by x%, what is the compounded value of that, year after year. Don’t worry, I’m not going to test your memory of algebra, but trust me when I say, from personal experience, the value is a lot more than the investment in time and money.

So, what’s it gong to be? What are you going to do the next time you hear about a seminar, networking event or conference? Are you going to sign up early? Are you going to wait until the last minute to sign up? Or, are you going to let it pass? The choice is yours. The definition of futility (or insanity, according to some) is doing the same thing, the same way and expecting a different result. I wrote in my book: “There is no change without action”. Thanks for taking the action, and time, to read this and I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event, in the front row!

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Need some new ideas? Need someone to bounce your ideas off to get an honest, and unbiased opinion? That’s a role I play for many of my clients as a coach, consultant and mentor. Whether it’s a one-time need, or an ongoing cheerleader you need, call or email me to find out more about how we can work together to achieve your vision of success, 732.422.6362, international 001 732 422 6362

“…I reached out to Alan all the way from Australia, to discuss my new business model and goal setting. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Alan, who is so knowledgeable, personable and results orientated. During the discussion, Alan provided me with realistic and attainable goals that I can work towards. In just one session, I am confident with the direction I am taking with my business and I look forward to continuing to work with Alan as I prepare to launch my business.

No matter how big or small your business, or whether you are fully established or a start-up, I would highly recommend Alan!”
Michelle Puccio, Melbourne, Australia

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