Why Attending a Conference is Still Valuable

As we count down the days to our 7th annual conference, “Beyond Separation: Protecting Cross Border Families” – co-hosted with the University of Maryland School of Social Work from Thursday, October 17th through Friday, October 18th – we asked ourselves a question: with all the free information readily available to us online, what benefits does the professional conference offer? The answer is that in-person events like conferences and workshops and lunch & learns still provide a unique learning experience and career opportunities that you can’t find online.

Here are our top three reasons why attending a conference is still a great professional move:

1. Networking:
Social media is a great way to stay connected with peers from both near and far, however there’s no substitution for face-to-face networking. Statistics have shown that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking, and that nearly 100% of people say that face-to-face meetings are essential for maintaining long-term business relationships. Conferences bring professionals from a wide range of backgrounds with a common discipline or field together, providing an invaluable opportunity to meet new working professionals in your field, strengthen your connections with those you already know, and to share your unique knowledge and experiences.

2. Expand your knowledge
The internet is full to the brim of new ideas, with more content being added every minute of every day. On one hand, there is more information widely available than ever before – however the constant deluge can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of and implement. Professional conferences offer workshops, seminars, and sessions, bringing together top experts in the field to help contextualize this information, improve your understanding, curate new ideas for implementation. Attending a conference and learning about the latest trends and how they’re being used from professionals at the forefront of your industry adds to your knowledge base and gives you something valuable to apply to your own work.

3. Be inspired
It’s true that the internet is an amazing resource, but too much time sitting at a computer behind your desk can make even the most interesting work seem stale after a while. Attending a conference is a great way to learn about new initiatives, gain fresh perspective, and reignite your passion for the important work you do every day!

As a unique convergence of networking, learning, and fun in one package, conferences offer an opportunity to enhance your personal and professional development, while providing you with tools and skills that cannot be learned online. Conferences are a great way to invest in yourself and your career because they give you an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

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