The Value of Attending Conferences

Do you make it a point to attend conferences in fields you’re interested in?  Are you aware of the incredible wellspring of experiential information you will get from attending a conference?  Do you want to meet other people with similar goals and interests?  Go to conferences I tell you!  Make a point to go to at least one conference per year, and more if you’re able.

I didn’t attend my first conference until I met Steve nearly 15 years ago.  He convinced me to attend a Tony Robbins’ seminar where I walked on fire, and got burned actually, but it was still an incredible experience.  What I liked most about it was hearing and seeing Tony in person, and going through the exercises on my own and with other people.  After that experience, I started to see conferences as really valuable.   Here are just a few things that I find valuable about attending conferences and also seminars, workshops, and lectures.

Finding Your Tribe
I absolutely loved attending Hay House’s I Can Do It conference.  I had no idea there were so many other people like me.  The people who to go that conference tend to be highly spiritual, lightworker types who just broadcast love, light, and peace.  Basking in that energy for a few days totally raised my vibration.  I think it really helps to know there are other people out there with similar goals and interests as you.  You can make new friends at a conference because you’re already compatible in at least one major area of your life.

This past weekend I attended the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference.  The other people who attended this conference were soul-brothers and sisters on a different level than those I met at the I Can Do It conference.  They merged with another aspect of me, Erin the Fiction Writer.  I sat down next to an older gentleman and simply said, “Hi, I’m Erin Pavlina.  First time here.  So, what are you writing?”  We became buddies the rest of the conference.  I met other people who live here in town with me that I am sure I will see again because of this conference.

Making Good Contacts
Another great benefit of attending conferences is meeting people who can help you on your path.  At the Writer’s conference I met publishers, agents, and authors who I connected with.  We were all given the go-ahead to follow up via email with everyone.  That’s valuable.  You’re no longer a name without a face, so when you send an email you can start off with, “At the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference this past weekend you mentioned XYZ and I had a follow up question to that…”

Offering Your Service
Most conferences I’ve attended have exhibitors.  These are people with a product or service that they want to sell to conference attendees.  Since they know so many will be in one place, it makes sense for them to shell out the dough to get a booth or table.  Conference attendees will walk by the table or booth many times, giving exhibitors a chance to get their attention.  So think about exhibiting your product or service at a conference in your industry. 

Practicing Your Skills
Many conferences offer training or exercises designed to help you in business or your personal life.  At the I Can Do It conference, I usually attend the pre-conference workshop on Friday where I get to train with an expert like psychic medium John Holland.  Having the expert right there is unparalleled.  Instead of reading a book or listening to an audio program, you get to listen to them directly and ask questions right then and there.  At the Celebrate Your Life conference I got to spend a day honing my medium skills with James Van Praagh.  At the Tony Robbins seminar I got to practice modeling and mirroring techniques with other attendees.

Getting the Latest
When experts present at conferences they usually talk about what’s new in the field.   The last Celebrate Your Life conference I attended in Phoenix, Arizona, saw Gregg Braden asking the audience permission to present brand new material from his book that hadn’t even been published yet.  We all agreed wholeheartedly to his request. 

If you’re going to a conference in your business field, you’ll likely hear experts talking about the latest practices, innovations, products, or services which could give you a leg up on your competition. 

When I ran VegFamily magazine I used to attend the Natural Products Expo every year where companies showcase products they are trying to get in the stores.  Sometimes I got to sample products that NEVER made it onto a store shelf.  I would go back home and write about the products coming to market, which gave me a lot of credibility in my industry.

Becoming a Speaker
Steve and I attended the Hay House I Can Do It conference several times before Steve became one of their authors.  He was asked to speak at two subsequent conferences.  He also spoke at the Game Developer’s Conference back when he had his computer games company, Dexterity Software.  Becoming a speaker at a conference often gives you the opportunity to network with the other speakers.  How would you like to have dinner with people you used to pay money to see?  Becoming a speaker at a conference is a great way to get to the inside track and make valuable connections.

Getting Jazzed Again
Attending a conference is a great way to inject a new energy into your life, whether for business or personal reasons.  Attending the Writer’s conference has me all excited to write fiction again.  When we go to the I Can Do It conference I get jazzed about developing my spirituality.  When I went to the Natural Products Expo I would … well, just gain weight from eating tons of samples, but I’d come home and write about all the cool products coming out to get other people jazzed.

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Find a conference you want to go to.  Sometimes they last a week and sometimes just a day or two.  Google “conference” and “(your subject)” and see what comes up.   If you’re lucky you can find one in your area.  If you’re serious about a subject, a conference or seminar should be part of your path.  You’ll get a lot out of attending.  I know I have.

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