There are a variety of reasons to attend conferences and events that are related to your niche. It’s not always just about the information presented.
One of the best reasons to attend these conferences is networking with other professionals in your industry. Trading business cards with people and making new contacts can be of huge benefit down the road. They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I like to think that what you know is pretty important too, but who you know can’t hurt either.
In the process of this networking you will be branding your business and yourself as a professional and/or an expert in your industry. If you do this well enough (and attend enough conferences) along with maintaining a positive reputation on the web, you can become one of the people that other people in your industry want to get to know. If you achieve that status, chances are your business will be doing fine. You can also hand out branded promotional items.
Let’s not discount the actual knowledge you can take away from a conference.
There are always general small business and marketing related conferences and events going on all year round. I’ve started a resource to try and keep you informed of things that are going on this month, and I might start trying to do this on a monthly basis.
The quality of information presented will obviously vary from conference to conference, but the good ones can give you great fuel for your marketing campaigns or other business strategies. If nothing else, they can get you hyped up to go and try some new things.
You should look for things that relate to your particular industry, though. Those are going to be the ones that you really benefit from as far as networking and branding. If you run a bakery, go to cake shows. If you run a pet grooming service, go to dog shows. You get the idea.
Nothing For Your Niche?
If there aren’t really any events going on in your niche, maybe there should be. Take some initiative and get one together (I know. Easier said than done right?). But why not? Find some other people in your niche and try to work something out. If nothing comes of it, at least you still did a little networking right?