The benefits of attending professional events and conferences
June 06, 2016

With all the information the internet provides, many industry professionals wonder if it's still worth it to attend professional seminars and conferences. In fact, the internet makes attending in-person events more important than ever. They're a chance for accountants, bookkeepers and business owners to travel and expand their horizons.

Networking
Even as the online environment grows larger, in-person networking remains a key component of both a profitable business and a successful career. Meeting people face-to-face allows for a much greater connection than exchanging emails or hosting virtual meetings. As William Wei Lim Chin of Hannover Medical School mentioned in a LinkedIn post, being the best in your industry means making human connections and sharing knowledge with others.

Check out the latest products and vendors
The best conferences collect industry-leading businesses that provide the products you need to operate your business. Today, many of these attendees are software organizations offering accounting software solutions. As Ciscion, a public relations service, noted, in-person conferences are a great way to find more information about products you're unfamiliar with. You can see demos immediately, chat with sales reps and ask current customers for their thoughts. In addition, you can compare and contrast different companies right then and there.

Conferences also discuss industry trends as a whole. Consider this year's AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference in Las Vegas. A key topic at this event is how cloud software affects accountants and bookkeepers.

Get your name out there
Even new accountants, bookkeepers, business owners and the like can use professional conferences to their advantage - namely, to get noticed by established names in their industries. These people should take every opportunity to talk shop and meet new people. It's also a good tactic for newcomers to ask intelligent, thought-provoking questions during panels and presentations. Doing so gets people noticed and flatters the presenters. 

Learn more about the industry
Any professional adviser worth his or her salt will tell you that one of the most important ways to succeed in a business is to never stop learning. No matter how much you already know, there's always a new skill, technique or software that helps you do your job better. Conferences such as the BTC Summit are a great way to pick up the latest tips, tricks and methods of the trade.

This summer, join hundreds of other accounting, bookkeeping, and small- and medium-size business professionals at Sage Summit 2016 in Chicago. Experience the beauty of the Windy City while connecting with industry leaders and hearing from a selection of brilliant keynote speakers, then top the week off with an amazing live performance. Join Sage July 25-28 at Chicago's McCormick Place for an experience you won't forget.

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