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Time is Precious: Why Should you Attend a Conference?

We’ve got this feeling that 2018 is turning out to be the year for Magento conferences. With Magento Imagine next month, and Magento Live Europe this October, and all the brilliant Meet Magento’s across the globe – all in all, we’ve never been more excited to be a part of this community.

Meet Magento UK 2018

On 13th June, at The Mermaid, London, hundreds of people will come together for Meet Magento UK, to engage in, and learn, all things eCommerce. We’re in the midst of organising what we’re sure is going to be a conference stacked with inspiration and ultimate expertise, and we want you to be there with us.

But, identifying a good conference to go to is only half of it. You have to justify the time and expense, if not to yourself but to your boss. How do you make your case and show they’re more than worth it? Here are 5 reasons we think conferences remain the most relevant and useful dates in our diaries.

1. Networking Opportunities

This is one of the most popular reasons people cite for attending a conference. And who doesn’t like the opportunity to get to know and meet new people who work in the industry? Whilst you might be looking for new business opportunities through your networking, you’ll doubtless get to meet some old friends too. And rubbing shoulders in person with those in the industry you most admire is something you’ll never be able to come close to online.

Regardless of whether you’re the CEO of a multinational company or a second year university student, or even speaking at an event for the first time, you may meet someone at a meal, in the exhibit hall, or wherever and within a few minutes, you can make a connection with someone that could dramatically improve business.

Networking on social media at the event is also key. At Meet Magento UK, you can follow our Twitter feed @MeetMagentoUK and the hashtag #MMUK18, from right now, to on the day itself, and beyond. Catch the event on Instagram too. In the build-up to most big conferences, there are warm-up fringe events, such as Imagine’s Big Dam Run that our Ecommerce Solutions Specialist, Rebecca Brocton is currently training for, you can follow her journey on Twitter and follow her and others with the at #BigDamRun. All pre and fringe events to Meet Magento UK will be announced on our social accounts, so keep checking in for those!

2. Refuelling your passion for what you do

Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down with the day to day, and if you’re feeling exhausted conferences can help to bring back enthusiasm and energy for this fast-paced and most exciting of industries. There’s usually an almost tangible buzz at conferences, that comes from the fact we’re all in this ever-evolving world of eCommerce and that we, by and large, love that.

Watching someone you admire speaking, absolutely in their element, sharing their experience can only serve to inspire you to take action. Hearing what they’ve done to make projects work, or how they’ve taken their own business to the next level, motivates you to take action, and helps you recognise what’s achievable.

3. Learn of tomorrow’s trends

See what’s new and don’t get left behind. At eCommerce conferences, you get to learn about the latest most innovative trends in new technology and business processes. Stay ahead of the curve and be amongst the first familiar with these new innovations. Conferences are an educational feast. The sheer volume of talks and exhibitors means you’ll come away absolutely pumped about the future, and raring to go.

4. Find answers to pain-points

Chances are, you’re not the only one with a certain issue, and a good conference will provide you with at least one “Eureka moment”, one “ah-ha” moment of clarity of how to solve a pain-point. It might be when listening to a speaker discuss a project, a solution they found via technology or practice leveraged that resolved a problem, or it might be simply when having a drink with someone else in the industry during the networking sessions. Allowing for time out of the office, away from your laptop, can actually be the most efficient way to find that elusive resolution.

5. A one-stop shop for products and services

Under one roof you’ve got all the latest in what’s out there that’s relevant to your business. At most eCommerce conference you’ll find people who provide swag, marketing, recruitment, office space, tech solutions, and that’s not to mention all you’ll gain from learning about how products and services have been utilised via the talks. Sure you don’t want to be sold to all day, nobody does, so perfect your not-that-interested smile for those you want to scoot past, and know before you get there who you’ll be heading to.

Tips for maxing out the conference

  • Be meticulously choosy about the sessions you attend. Make them relevant to you, but also don’t be afraid of pushing beyond your comfort zone and learning about something entirely new
  • Do your research. Make sure you know who’s going to be there and plan out your day. You can be a little ad hoc when it comes to it, if something takes your interest when you’re there, but having a plan sketched out will mean you won’t be at a loss of what to do next
  • Bring back content to the rest of your team. Whether that’s some social coverage on the day (know the event hashtag before you go) or write a blog, even just to be shared internally, with some key takeaways once you’re back
  • Be snap happy. Take photos of slides that inspire you, and exhibition stands that you want to prompt your memory about