You know that attending a professional seminar can be a boost to your career and help you advance in your chosen industry. But there are so many options. How do you know which conference or seminar to choose?
Some of the things you should consider when deciding on a seminar include:
Theme: When sorting through seminar choices you’ll find there are a multitude of subjects and themes. You could pick a seminar based on your profession. There are conferences for dentists, lawyers, ministers, and a multitude of other careers.
There are also industry specific conferences for businesses in publishing, automotive manufacturing, and a vast amount of technical industries.
Or you can choose from a broader topic. These would include sales, motivation, or personal development. These types of subjects can help you no matter what field you are in.
Speakers: Every industry has its recognized leaders. Whether you pastor a church, operate a massage therapy business, or rent kayaks, there are people who are massively successful in that field. Learning from the best in your line of business can not only be useful because of the knowledge they share, but also viewing their life story as an example. If they can do it, so can you.
Always look over the list of speakers and see which ones have learned by experience.
Classes: By looking at a brochure or webpage about a seminar, you should be able to view a list of the specific classes that will be offered. Some classes will be listening to speakers only, others will be more interactive. For topics such as learning a type of software the classes might be hands-on.
You’ll want to choose a seminar that offers classes that are the most relevant to your current career goals.
Cost: Though you won’t want this to be your first consideration, the fact is most companies have a set budget for educational training. You might need to adjust your expectations due to the amount of money available. You’ll need to decide if attending one week-long seminar is better than two or three shorter seminars through-out the year.
Location: This ties in closely with cost. If you attend a local seminar where you can go home at night the cost is going to be much less. Attending a seminar out of town will add hotel and meal charges to the total tab. You’re company will also have to pay travel by paying for your mileage if you drive, or your airfare.
The advantage of the out of town seminar is it gives you more time to meet with others who are attending over dinner or other social events. When you attend only the classes and then go home, you don’t always get the networking benefits.
After you’ve considered all the factors, choose the seminar that best meets your current needs. Then, convince your boss that you’ve done your research and you’ve picked the seminar that will bring the most value to your company.