Monday, December 3, 2018

The Often Overlooked Reasons to Attend Seminars and Conferences

We’ve all been to modular housing conferences where someone from a Government office talks about our role in the future of affordable housing or maybe you listened to a visionary showing you picture after picture of innovative processes and procedures that will benefit housing.

How about those wonderful people that speak about motivating your sales staff or show you the latest in social media marketing. All good stuff!

These conferences and seminars can cost you up to $1,000 are put on by some great associations and organizations. You walk away with a lot of reading material that you tell yourself you will read just as soon as you get home.

But did you know the real reason for all these events is not to provide you with any really useful information? If it were you would all rush back to your companies and immediately begin planning how to implement all the things you ‘learned’ at the event.

However when you get home, life has a way of pushing all that into the background. Sales are dipping, problems on the production line need addressed and one of your key people took your absence to quit and go with a competitor. All those new ideas will have to wait.

And if you think the people that organize don’t know this you are sadly mistaken.

So why should anyone attend these industry conferences and seminars? The answer is two-fold.

First, most of the speakers own their own consulting companies and hope you will have neither the time nor the in-depth knowledge to even know how to begin implementing what you heard at their event. Voila! "Let’s call the speaker and hire them" to implement the changes that could help our business ….or not. They speak at events to get your attention and hopefully hire them.

This is not a bad thing. Hiring a professional to start needed changes at your company may look expensive up front but let me tell you, it is worth every penny if they can accomplish the goals you set for your business. They are worth their weight in gold if they do it and you will continue using their services for a long time.

There is an even bigger reason to attend building industry conferences and events. It’s called breakfast, lunch, dinner and breaks. That’s where people network with others to learn the real truths about our industry.

“Hello, I’m Jim. I own Jim’s Modular Home Factory and I’ve always wanted to meet you.” or “Frank, I haven’t seen you in a couple of years, what’s new at your company?” or my favorite, “Hi, are you the Modcoach?”

It doesn’t matter what type of event you attend, you will always see small groups of two or more people huddled together sharing information, asking questions and even bragging about their company.

Some of these groups will even forego listening to a speaker to sit and talk business. Dinner plans are made as well as breakfast with other folks.

Even though you signed up to listen to all the speakers you’ll find the $1,000 you spent well worth it if for nothing else than the networking.

Networking at events is as old as time and quite honestly that is why a lot of modular people attend them.

The next time you see an event that looks like it fits your needs don’t hesitate to sign up. Go for the speakers but look for every opportunity to network with your peers and even the speakers themselves. It will be one of the best investments you will ever make for your company.

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