Robyn Wright is a social media master and blogging pro. We look forward to hearing her speak at BAM Bloggers at Midlife on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Read more from Robyn on her blog, Robyn’s Online World.
For those wanting to make a career out of social media, attending in person events and conferences can help you make that jump from hobbyist to professional. While so many of us really are great about being social online, when you meet people in person it cements that relationship you already had. There are several benefits to attending “in-real-life” events. Consider these six reasons that are at the top of my list.
- Solidify Relationships
You will be able to meet those people you have an online relationship with in person and form a more solid relationship. I have done more work with the people I have met in real life than anyone I only know online.
- Show You’re Serious
Spending money to attend conferences and events shows that you take your job seriously. If you are putting out money for travel, hotel, event tickets, and such other people in the industry know you are in this for the long haul.
- Make New Connections
While you get to meet people you already know at conferences, you will also meet so many new people as well. Be open and friendly to all. You may not know who they are, but I have had many PR and brand reps contact me after an event to work with me and I had no idea that they were with a company.
- Expand Your Knowledge
Conferences are just as much about learning as they are networking. Go with an open mind to hear how others are using new media for their business. Do not shake your head disagreeing with someone speaking just because you do it differently. Consider attending sessions and speakers who are out of your normal comfort zone as well to learn brand new things.
- Recharge Your Enthusiasm
We all get a little bored sometimes doing the same thing over and over. Conferences are full of energy that will help you get recharged about your work. You may not feel like it at first, but you will be helping others get reenergized too.
- Enjoy Your Tribe
One of my favorite things about attending conferences is that I am with a large group of people who actually understand what I do. In my day to day life when I tell people I am in social media many look bewildered, but at conferences I never have to explain myself and everyone gets all the jokes!
Take your time to seek out upcoming conferences and events, both local and afar, that will help you further your work in social media. Talk to those who have attended the same event in the past. Plan an out-of-pocket budget and then decide which events you should go to in the upcoming year. Remember, you are investing in you!