Marina Schwenk, COMMON member and N2i committee member, shares her thoughts on the value of attending COMMON conferences. Read her full Eye on the i
article below:Why I Attend Conferences
Sometimes I get asked by my family and friends, “why do you like going to these conferences?” My answer is always the same: education and networking. One of the hardest parts during the pandemic was the loss of in-person conferences. The networking you get from in person conferences is not something you can easily replicate during virtual conferences. We all did the best that we could but, I am very happy to be attending POWERUp 2021 in Virginia Beach.
As we cross the threshold from 100% virtual to a Hybrid conference it can be a challenge to go back to in person conferences for a few reasons. Some people prefer the virtual conferences because there is less stress than being in large crowds. I can understand that sentiment, as an introvert myself it can be challenging to attend in person conferences. However, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and networking with like-minded individuals is worth attending the in-person conferences. You never know who you are going to network with at an in-person event. If you need a mentor, chances are you will find one. If you need a business partner, chances are you will find one. The people you meet could change your life in ways you never expect.
If you are new to the platform, attending in person conferences are vital for your career. You are just starting out and you need to network with and learn from industry experts. This is better done in person instead of virtually because it gives you a chance to reach out and network with other people. I understand this can be a daunting task. It was for me when I was just starting out but the more you push yourself the better it will be!
All in all, the benefits of attending conferences cannot be fully expressed in words. You need to experience it for yourself and see the benefits for yourself. If you find yourself questioning “should I really be attending this conference?” put that question out of your mind and take a leap of faith. You will find that the benefits outweigh any concern you might have. You never know what could come out of attending the conference and what difference it can make in your life.