It seems like everyone can do nothing else but talk about going to the cool national conferences presented by Google, Microsoft, and Adobe. But there's so much more to conferences than this. The problem with many of the bigger conferences is that they are so hyped up that they can't possibly deliver on your expectations.
Local conferences are an alternative that many companies don't consider, despite the industry thriving in the digital world. And that's a shame because there are a lot of local conferences that can do so much more for you.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider attending a local tech conference in 2016.
You are always going to pay far less for a local conference than a huge conference in New York City. A lot of conferences in your area may not charge an entry fee at all. You may only pay for the extra workshops and other perks. But the huge tech events seem to be increasing their prices every single year. And that's hard for small businesses to stomach.
Aside from that, it's expensive to take even a single person across the country to San Francisco or New York. This can leave you thousands of dollars in the hole with no clear path for getting a return. In the last year alone average flight costs rose by 5%.
Connecting with More Relevant People
When you are speaking to people at big conferences, you may be operating in different niches in different parts of the country. These two facts alone may mean that you have no chance of actually making anything out of a relationship with them. You will notice this time and time again. Someone could be specializing in live horse racing bets software and someone else could be running a charity.
Yet at a local conference, you are connecting with people in the town or city you happen to be in. They are in the same market and you have far more potential for making something out of this. What could be better?
Disruption to Business Activities
Large companies can send a team to a conference and it doesn't really matter to the business back home for a few days. A smaller company usually can't accept the loss of a single person. They will be missed and it will cause significant disruption to your core business activities.
But if the conference hall happens to be a twenty-minute drive away this is not a problem. You are not losing out because they may only be out of the office for a morning or an afternoon. This is a far better option than losing someone for an extended period of time.
More Intimate Workshops
The biggest part about any conference is the workshops. This is where you learn real actionable strategies that can change the way you do business. In a hall of fifty people, it's difficult to ask questions and it's difficult to receive strategies tailored to your situation. The value of a face-to-face discussion can't be underestimated.
Local conferences are known for offering more intimate workshops for ten or twenty people at once. You will get more from them because you will be able to ask more questions and apply the lessons to your specific business hierarchy.
A Relaxed Atmosphere
By the third day of a conference in Silicon Valley, most people are surviving on nothing more than a double espresso delivered on the hour every hour. The exhibitors are trying to push through it and most of the senior executives have already gone home on an early flight. It's a tiring time for anyone.
It's hard for anyone to network and it's difficult to keep up a high-energy aura all the time. But if you decide that you want to attend a local conference you know you are dealing with fewer people. Things are more casual and everyone isn't desperate to make it around as many people as possible.
How to Find a Local Conference in Your Area?
If this article has convinced you of the merits of attending a conference or event closer to home this year, there are any options, particularly if you live in a big city. Look online and check in with some local community websites to see what's on offer.
You may not need to plan attending a conference. It's possible that there's an evening networking event tomorrow that you can attend. But you may well meet the person who can turn your business around. There's no telling what might happen.
These are the main reasons why you may want to attend a tech conference in your locality this year. It could be a major boon for your business, but you don't know unless you try.
Will you be attending a local event in 2016?