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Conferences and Seminar Events: Worth it?

November 12, 2012

From Loan Officer John Hendley

You see them come across your email frequently… networking events, educational seminars, and conferences with others in your industry. Who has the time to break away from work and clients to attend? Why not just log in to a virtual meeting or listen to a webinar?

Well, there are some benefits to attending an event that you just can’t get across a computer screen. Here are a few:

1. You actually go!  How many times have you signed up for an online event to have something that is more pressing prevent you from logging in?  Or, do you feel guilty because you aren’t “doing” something that seems more constructive… more results oriented? Virtual events can be a good substitute for travel, but it’s difficult to replicate the same attention and focus that you have when you actually go offsite.

2. Variety of teaching styles and approaches are helpful to learning. Everyone learns differently. Everyone is interested in absorbing information in different ways. You might enjoy listening to a panel of social media experts answer FAQs. You might prefer an animated Prezi or slide show. Or maybe you want to be part of a roundtable discussion in which you can share challenges and success stories. In any case, most events have a variety of sessions that utilize different types of presentation methods.

3. Enthusiasm and excitement. Many people come back from a conference or seminar with great enthusiasm and new ideas on how to become even more successful. That’s no accident. There’s enormous energy and excitement at most events. You are away from the routine of your normal responsibilities, so you can take a fresh look at what others are doing and consider how to adopt some of their tips into your own career.

4. In-person relationships can’t be replicated online. Networking is a sales skill that will never go away. Sure, social media has expanded how we do it, with the explosion of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They will never replace, however, the value of face-to-face conversation when it comes to growing your network. Real estate is all about relationships – and some of the most valuable ones are cultivated when you are out of the office and have time just to talk with others who want to grow their business, just like you!


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