Kicking off our Guest Blogger series is the inimitable Joel Comm, a 2014 Bold Talks and Ignite INBOUND speaker who will be returning to INBOUND in 2015.
Our hyper-connected world has made it easier than ever before to conduct business. Whether using email, websites or social media to interact with others, the ability to do a deal with someone on the other side of the world in a matter of minutes has changed the way we do business forever.
But one thing hasn’t changed; the wonderful things that can happen when you meet with others face-to-face.
Sure, we have a number of video-conferencing abilities that allow us to hear and see others as we build relationships remotely. But Google Hangouts, Skype and Facetime can’t replace the magic that can take place when you go have the opportunity to sit down with others and build relationships in person.
No matter how successful you are in your business, I’ve discovered that the fastest way to kick things up on a notch is to get up from your keyboard and attend a live conference, workshop, seminar, bootcamp or meetup.
It may be a local event or you may have to drive a distance or fly in order to attend. Admission may be free or there could be a significant investment in order to participate. Regardless of the circumstances, there are a number of benefits that make the investment of your time and resources worthwhile.
1) We are more likely to do business with those we know, like and trust
I’ve discovered that business is frequently conducted with the people I spend the most time with. Whether it’s a conversation in the expo hall, a meeting in a breakout room, a meal with peers or more laid back conversation over a coffee or beer, having face-to-face engagement where you can experience others in a more intimate setting is a fantastic path to creating more than just alliances… but more importantly, friendships.
2) Continuing education is essential
If we seek to be on top of our game, we must never stop learning. Most live events offer training components that allow you to learn from leaders in the industry. Listening to what they have to say and then having the opportunity to converse with peers afterwards can be quite valuable. In many cases, you will have the chance to have a discussion with the speakers and get your questions personally answered. As a speaker and attendee at last years’ INBOUND 2014 event, I enjoyed attending a number of sessions and made sure to engage with other speakers at every opportunity.
3) New products, services and vendors can be discovered quickly
If the event you are attending has an exposition hall of some kind, you’ll be exposed to vendors who may offer solutions you need. You may also discover joint venture possibilities that didn’t exist for you before. Personally, I love traveling the expo floor, meeting new people and encountering new uses of technology. Oh, and don’t forget the swag! You may leave an expo floor with some pretty cool stuff.
4) It’s Fun!
Besides learning opportunities, networking with others and discovering new products and services, I find that attending events is just plain fun! It’s not unusual to find special social events, concerts, meet-and-greats, book signings and other functions scheduled in conjunction with live events. You may not get as much rest as you usually do when attending these events, but you may form business alliances, and friendships, to last a lifetime.
Of course, there are other specific reasons one might attend a live event, but the bottom line is this… once you know your stuff, it’s no longer about what you know, but WHO you know. Remember that you may be in the business of selling a product or service, but ultimately we are all in the business of serving people.
Make 2015 a great year for you and your business by seizing opportunities to go to live events. Sometimes just showing up can open up incredible doors that may surprise you.
Joel Comm is an entrepreneur, NY Times bestselling author, and new media innovator. An expert on harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand your brand’s reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audience inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create a new media campaign that will explode their business.
Subscribe to INBOUND, the blog or check back here at 10 am on February 11 to see Joel's Bold Talk: "See You at the Bottom," and at the same time February 19th to watch his Ignite INBOUND talk"How iFarted and Came Out Smelling Like a Rose."