A 'novel' experience for Facebook Messenger
In the age of social media and content marketing, some people may argue that webinar conferencing and networking on LinkedIn is the new norm for experiencing thought leadership and making professional connections. They may even go as far as to say traditional conferences have gone the way of the Dodo.
I say they’re wrong. Or, at least somewhat misguided.
Webinars are broadcast online for just about anyone, in any part of the word. You don’t even need to miss work.
And what about networking on LinkedIn? That’s where you invite people to connect and then stalk their Linkedin profile to build a network of your own.
Back in the day, we did our networking outside of work in bars or at conferences. And when we wanted to learn from an expert, we’d gather together and experience their wisdom, in person, in bars or at conferences.
Come to think of it, was there anything we didn’t do in bars or at conferences?
Anyway, regardless of what some people may think, I’m here to say there’s still value in attending real, honest-to-goodness conferences. Here’s why:
The Virtual Version Of LinkedIn
Meeting people face-to-face is incredibly important. When meeting people for the first time online, you don’t get to know them as fast or as well as you can in person. Plus, people you’ve actually met may be more willing to go out of their way to help get you a job or new business, which isn’t creepy.
Face-to-face networking is also a great way to sell yourself and your company. At a recent inbound marketing conference, I met a ton of new people and got to reconnect with a few old friends. It was so nice to catch up with people and hear how they’ve been doing. It was also refreshing to meet new people and learn about their experiences.
The Real Thought Leadership Definition
Even if you’re a senior stakeholder at the company, it’s still important to continue learning. Conferences feature guest speakers that educate and excite, and it’s helpful to hear their thoughts on best practices. Plus, these thought leaders are often accessible to meet in person after they’re done speaking, which doesn’t suck.
I’ll never forget one of the more fascinating keynote addresses at the inbound conference that focused on social media marketing, lead generation and being able to merge the two to produce true ROI. It seemed like the Rosetta Stone moment, and it left a lasting impression on me because it was a topic dear to my heart. After the address, I personally met with the speaker, which turned into a lasting friendship.
What Webinars Don’t Do
Attending a conference can be a great way to meet new people, see the rock stars of your industry and re-energize. Webinars can’t do that.
Meeting people in real life is healthy. Seeing the people who you idolize can be life-changing. And getting out from behind your desk can help avoid burnout.
That means, once back from the trip, you are ready to to tackle new projects with vim and vigor. You also may want to check out a free webinar and spend some time on LinkedIn.