- 7 min read
Top 5 Benefits Why Your Agency Should Attend In-Person Conferences
Sure virtual conferences are easy to attend. We’ve gotten used to them with the “new normal” post-pandemic. We had an absolute blast at Atarim’s Agency Summit in April where over 10,000 people attended, it was great to see so many new faces and learn all of your personal stories.
That said, there is the je ne sais quoi of attending events in person that still never fails to create real biz dev magic, and where you stand to land your best potential future clients.
In 2023 alone, Rocket.net has already attended WP Y’all in Birmingham, CloudFest in Germany, and WordCamp Phoenix in, as you guessed: Phoenix, Arizona. We’re excited to attend CloudFest USA at the end of May in Austin and, of course, WordCamp US in August in Maryland. And who knows what other events we may still attend this year.
So Why Agencies Should Attend In-Person Conferences
To keep this article on the short-er side, here are five reasons your agency should attend conferences in person.
- Team Building
- Staying Relevant
- Keeping Informed
- Connecting Ideas
We could literally write a 750-word article on each one of these points. Suffice it to say that networking isn’t the same as team building. One is external and the other is internal. You have to get out of your own Team’s Slack every once in a while. You know? Otherwise, you end up being in an echo chamber. Echo chambers are a death sentence for ideas and innovation. The day WordPress stops innovating is a truly scary day.
“Chance favors the connected mind.”TED: Where good ideas come from – Steven B. Johnson
How do you stay relevant as a product owner or SaaS if you don’t attend conferences in person? It’s almost impossible. Using social media is great in between conferences, but the most eyes and attention your company will have is during a conference. People will say among themselves, “Oh, I didn’t know so-and-so was still in business?” “I thought John Doe left WordPress and got a job-job.”
Staying relevant is an external exercise. Keeping informed is the other side of that coin. Do you know how other product owners are working with React these days? How many of your peers are really using AI for their copywriting and is it actually working for them? Industry events shed light on where people are working, how close to the edge they’re at, and insights from their own experiences. This kind of information won’t be shared over Twitter and is hard to overhear a conversation in a Slack DM.
The fifth and final reason it’s important for your agency to attend in-person conferences is the innovation that comes from connecting ideas. This cannot be understated. If you listen to people talk, even about their onboarding experiences with new employees, you can probably apply that to onboarding of new employees. Oh? They’re using ChatGPT to help build their product’s knowledge base? That could help our support team who may not be native English speakers. Great idea!
If you have reservations about attending in-person conferences, we get it. It’s hard to make the decision to send one to twenty people to a conference. And it can get on the spendy side, too.
But In-Person Events Cost Money, Energy, and Time
It’s true, in-person events cost money, energy, and time. Attending events in person is a big ticket expense. Sometimes spending that money can feels like a sacrifice; sometimes it is a sacrifice. But what you miss by NOT attending is the business that comes from an event. And, of course, event expenses are a business expense, so yay for lower taxes. (We’re not your CPA and we don’t play one on TV.)
“All conferences and retreats you attend to enhance your writing and network can be written off.”Keeper
Events, in-person or virtual cost a certain amount of emotional energy. The day after a conference is always best spent in rest and reflection, but the show must go on, so we’re hard working anyway. So, yeah, you may be tired. But isn’t it a good tired?
And sure, events are time-consuming. Truly, if you want to come up with an excuse to NOT attend events in 2023, it’s pretty easy. They’re expensive, time-consuming, and draining. But we think that’s a short-sighted view. Think of lead generation, networking, reinforced learning, inspiration, and encouragement. Think of friendship. Think of missed moments of spontaneity. Kismet.
How Do You Justify Attending a Conference?
How do you justify attending a conference? It depends upon who’s asking. CPA? Reduced Tax Liability. CFO? Increased Lead Gen. Partner? Insight into industry trends. Spouse/Kids? Career & Business Connections.
We think if you’re approaching attending in-person conferences with this question, you’re looking at it the wrong way. Ask yourself another question. What are you missing by not attending? Will people still know you’re in business? Will plugin sales go down? Will website builds decrease?
FounderPath500: How Rocket.net Bootstrapped Our Way To $1MM ARR and Beyond
If you have the funds to go, we highly encourage you to attend, go to some of the sessions, talk to people in the halls, engage with vendors (even competitors), and go to at least one after-event. Take notes as you can. Insights will come if you look for them. Promise.
“Conferences give you the opportunity to meet others in your industry who have or had similar problems and challenges. You would be surprised how willing these people are to share what has worked for them and what has not over a cup of coffee.”Sarah McCabe
Why Should Employees Go To Conferences?
If you have a distributed company (hello, tech) then employees attending conferences gives you opportunities to build rapport among teams, mentor individuals, improve retention, and increase your brand affinity.
You’re able to show a new person how you talk to attendees at a booth about your product, not just have them memorize talking points. You can demonstrate attentiveness, not just say “don’t be on your phone when you’re at the booth.” These are mentoring moments.
On top of mentoring moments, employees who are sent to conferences feel more valued. They understand that they’ve been trusted to represent the brand and that is a huge boost to their value. Employees who are valued stay with a company. Who doesn’t love employee retention? Sure, raises and bonuses work, too, but not to the same degree.
“Gallup research has discovered that people who have the opportunity to continually develop are twice as likely as those on the other end of the scale to say they will spend their career with their company.”Confluence
We’d Love to Meet You In Person, Too!
Are you ready for your next event? Is your Agency ready? Let’s talk about how we can migrate your portfolio of client sites to Rocket.net, the fastest WordPress hosting in the world.
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