How to Maximize Your Staff's Conference Participation
By Susan Tinnish Advisory Group Chair, Vistage | February 22, 2015
Hotels today scrutinize every expense - including educational conferences, workshops, webinars and educational meetings. Before sending a person to an industry/educational event (hereafter referred to as a conference), management wants to understand the organizational benefit. The benefit or return on investment (ROI) can take many forms including:
1. Accessing the Latest and Newest Information – At conferences, thought leaders speak about current trends and new products and information. This allows employees to reconsider or view their work or processes differently.
2. Developing Professionally – Conference attendance allows employees to access specific kinds of training or growth opportunities needed.
3. Learning from Luminaries – Whether industry experts or acclaimed authorities, conferences afford access to thought leadership (Marus, 2013).
4. Tactical Brainstorming – Conferences provide access to many different ideas; even when a specific idea does not apply it can trigger a creative spark. Fishkin describes conferences as "a brainstorming paradise and a terrific opportunity for new ideas to come bubbling to the surface."
5. Increasing Motivation – Attending a conference can inject a new energy into an employee (Pavlina, n.d.).