Conferences are an opportunity to hone your craft, meet like-minded individuals, and level up your A-game. They give you the space and inspiration you need to create meaningful change in your business and inch you that much closer to making your dreams a reality. But there are a lot of conferences out there. Like thousands. So how do you decide which ones give you the biggest bang for your buck? You can decide which high-impact conferences to attend by asking yourself a handful of questions that identify conferences you need to attend this year.
What does success look like for me?
Start your conference vetting process by asking what you want to get out of a conference. While it’s fun to get out of town for a few days, conferences should reflect a higher purpose. Ultimately, opt for conferences that take you one step closer to achieving your goals, reaching new levels of success, and fulfilling your dreams.
Use your goals as a compass. Do you want to make more industry connections so you can identify opportunities for partnerships? Find a conference with plenty of time for panel discussions, networking, and socializing.
If success means reaching a certain level of profitability, find conferences that help you streamline your operations, increase your productivity, and explore passive revenue streams.
What’s your vision for yourself and your business? Find a conference that aligns with your reason for waking up, your dream for the future, your life’s purpose.
Conferences are opportunities to connect with others. Size up the target audience at an upcoming conference. Who will be there? Other women business owners? Industry experts? Thought leaders? Be a little selfish. What’s in it for you?
- Could you meet potential business partners?
- Is this a good spot to find potential prospects?
- Will you be able to connect and knowledge share with peers?
Pick your conferences based on who you can connect with and whether they’re the type of people you need in your life right now.
What's the potential ROI?
Attend conferences that give you a positive return on investment. And while conferences often advertise what ROI attendees can expect, you have to know what ROI you’re looking for to decide whether it’s a fit. Identify the ROI you hope to gain first, such as:
- Peer connections
- Speaking opportunities
Find conferences that promise the ROI you’re looking for, and before you go, set benchmarks for that ROI and measure whether it does the trick. That way, you can decide whether to return next year or not.
What can I gain from this experience that I can't gain elsewhere?
Conferences are a dime a dozen and they aren’t created equal. Choose conferences that give you access to experiences that you won’t get somewhere else. Look for conferences with innovative approaches, unique offerings, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
- Introductions you can’t make anywhere else.
- Content that’s one-of-a-kind.
- Experiences you’ll remember for years to come.
- Relationships you get to continue after the conference ends.
If you can find conference offerings for free online somewhere, look for a conference that’s worth your time and money instead.
How do I want to show up here?
As a conference attendee, consider what you’re bringing to the table. You’re an active participant with a contribution to make. What impact do you want to make? Do you want to speak at the conference? Do you want to participate in a panel to provide your unique perspective? Do you want to be the connection somebody else is looking for? Do you want to leverage your network to change somebody else’s life? Pick conferences that give you the ability to shine.
How will this impact me/my business/my future/my team?
It’s time to look at the big picture. Beyond the immediate learning, inspiration, and connection you stand to gain from a conference, what’s down the road for you, your business, your future, or your team?
Maybe you want to learn to be a better leader, and with the insights, you learn at a conference, you’ll be ready for the next big change that faces your business. A conference focused on culture-building can give back to your team in the long run by making the work environment more productive, constructive, and harmonious. Maybe you want to change the business world for women and a conference enables you to meet all the right people.
Make it meaningful for you and everything you touch.
Mark Your Calendar
The conferences I’m planning to attend this year answer the above questions for me.
May 1-3, you can find me at the annual EPI Summit put on by an organization near and dear to my heart, the Exit Planning Institute. I’d love to see you in the crowd during my mainstage speaking engagement!
Also on the books is the KNOW Summit 2022, where it’s all about ladies in business, and the BABA Summit, which focuses all about working smarter not harder when you own an agency. I’ll be attending both and looking forward to soaking it all up alongside my fellow owners.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Executive Coaching, Small Business
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life