Lately, I have been chatting with many of my colleagues regarding attending conferences. Most of the entrepreneurs I know love to give back to the community, so attending, and potentially speaking is one of the easiest ways to get in front of a lot of people and impact.
That being said, there is a large subset of entrepreneurs who believe that attending conferences is a complete waste of time, and would rather be running their business from the office.
For many bootstrapped entrepreneurs, it may be difficult to justify the cost of a conference. Think about all the costs associated? Flight, hotel, conference attire, conference fee, drinks, food, transportation. It really adds up!
Running bootstrapped businesses my whole life, I can understand the challenges attributed to budgeting for a conference.
Regardless, I am a huge fan of conferences, for many different reasons. If you are an entrepreneur, here are 5 reasons why you should attend conferences. Hopefully, my points will justify the dollar amount.
1. Give back to the community
One of my favorite things to do Is give back to the community in whatever way I can. Starting my entrepreneurial journey, I relieved a lot of help for mentors who devoted their time to the development of my team, my company, and even myself.
You may be thinking, how in the world can I give back to the community by going to a conference.
Well, an easy answer is to support other entrepreneurs. For example, if you are from Boston, you can attend local events such as Inbound to support HubSpot and other small businesses.
Another way to think about giving back is to try to inspire someone at the event you are attending. Events are great times where you have varying personalities and people who are at different points in their lives. Try inspiring someone who is just starting out their journey by offering your email address and support. That being said get inspired by someone who is maybe farther along in their business than you.
2. Travel the world
It is a great time to be an entrepreneur. The entire world is trying to be more innovative, which means that more countries are pushing entrepreneurship. This means you have more opportunities to travel the world.
For example, want to take a trip to Turkey? Try to attend Startup Turkey and collaborate with some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the area. The best part of business are the business development connections and partnerships you can forge internationally.
3. Learn from others
I love anyone that challenges my thinking. When you bring together like-minded individuals with different backgrounds, histories, and paths, great things can happen.
One of the conference etiquettes that I live by is to never sit with the same group of people twice. This gives me more of an opportunity to meet others and network. You never know who you will meet.
4. Grow your personal brand
No matter which company you stay with, your personal brand is one of the many reasons why people decide to do business with you. The more you meet others, the more your network grows.
Want to become a millionaire? Meet and network with more people. As the saying goes, your net worth is your network.
5. Access to incredible speakers
Speakers alone are some of the best reasons to attend conferences. I love seeing some of the best speakers of all time talk about up coming trends and patterns that are emerging in their respective fields.
For example, if you attended the Launch festival last year, you would have had the opportunity to network with the likes of Mark Cuban, Paul Graham, Jason Calacanis, and the top startups in the world. Where else can you interact with people that could potentially write you a check for your startup?
If you were to make these trips alone, if would cost you a trip to Dallas along with San Francisco. And you still may not get to meet them!
Thankfully, conferences such as Launch give you the ability to apply for a free ticket if you are a student, or cash-strapped entrepreneur!
Conferences are some of best times to meet, and get inspired by entrepreneurs globally. Hopefully, you will also take advantage conferences, and make the most out of them.
Why do you like conferences?