The Power of Conferences

The Power of Conferences

Today, I am at the GOWEST 2023 conference in Edmonton. GO WEST is Canada’s premiere conference for event planners. Welcoming over 600 people for industry leading innovations, networking, professional development, and a showcase of exhibitors and innovation, this is THE event to attend if you are in the event business. Whether you are an event producer, buyer, or venue, this is where it all comes together.

What am I doing here? There are a couple of reasons. First, it is important to understand that our company is not in the event business. We do not operate or run events. That is why I get asked, “Why are you here?” It is simple. I am here for three reasons and I will explain each. The key is to understand that you don’t have to be an event planner to attend an event conference, a sponsorship specialist to attend a sponsorship conference, or a sport professional to attend a sport conference. Think beyond the ordinary.

Here are my three reasons for attending GOWEST 2023.

  • I was engaged to present a session on the main stage as well as a breakout session.
  • I am here to learn.
  • I am here to network.

Now, let’s break down the why and how it applies to you versus me!

  • I was engaged to present a session on the main stage as well as a breakout session – Remember, events need sponsors, or at least most of them do (probably not weddings and bar mitzvahs and so forth, but all public access or industry specific events). I am able to share my insights, knowledge, and experience with 600+ event professionals, most of whom are looking for sponsorship dollars. I can provide them with tools and insights that will help them to be successful. And to be fully transparent, it positions us well as thought leaders. So now to you—why not speak at a conference? Share your knowledge with others, and allow them to benefit from your insights and expertise. Helping others is rewarding. It will also enhance your position in your industry and theirs. You will be recognized as a thought leader. And sometimes it is easier to get on the agenda outside of your sector than inside!
  • I am here to learn. Just like you. The great thing about this conference is that’s it’s not about sponsorship. I am learning about the event industry—best practices, new innovations, and insights. I can take those learnings not only to be a better consultant to the event industry, but also transfer knowledge from this sector to arts, sport, and charity clients. If you are in the arts industry, there is definitely much you can learn from how professional sport does sponsorship or revenue generation. As a municipality, you can learn how charities run experiences, events and programs, and align sponsors successfully. Don’t think you cannot learn from another sector. Transferable knowledge is key! Be open minded.
  • I am here to network. This is how we build our business. We meet new people, learn about them, develop relationships, and then serve them. Networking is key to both your sponsorship program and your professional career. Attending conferences (whether in your sector or not) is a critical way to network, build your “Rolodex” and prosper.

I hope this helps you to understand the power of conferences and why you should attend them!

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