Attending seminars v online research
Is attending an exhibition or seminar just a waste of time now so much information is available online? We match up the two options against a series of objectives to help you decide….
a) Meeting new suppliers
Seminars and events – You can ask questions, see and experience demonstrations and get to know the people behind the companies you want to work with – they may turn out to be valuable connections as you grow your business. You may encounter services and suppliers you didn’t even know you needed!
Online - It can be hard to trust companies you find online and often difficult to ask the questions you need answers to.
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b) Networking opportunities
Seminars and events – You will find that other delegates at a conference that’s relevant to you will have similar aims and objectives. You might find yourself sat next to the new best customer or a valuable mentor. Mixing with people trying to learn new skills and ‘better’ themselves s nearly always a positive experience.
Online – Whilst you can meet hundreds and hundreds of people online, sometimes it’s difficult to build reliable relationships and online learning channels often lack energy and inspiration.
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c) Discovering the latest tech and tools
Seminars and events – In person demonstrations are a great way to understand how the latest tech can be relevant and useful to your business. You can also ask questions and receive answers that will clarify and confirm the value to you.
Online – Some online demonstrations really are great and very useful, but there is some much information out there sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for and then hard to assess the value to your business.
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d) Finding Inspiration
Seminars and events – The best events feature the opportunity to hear or meet inspirational characters from your sector, you might not end up becoming Richard Branson’s new best mate, but some inspiration or a valuable connection might be the result.
Online – It is possible to find contact details for your heros online and sometimes you can even persuade them to engage with you. So the potential for something useful to happen is there, but more often than not your well thought out approaches just remain unanswered.
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e) Finding New customers
Seminars and events – Unless you exhibit, you might be a little limited to networking opportunities rather than a direct approach to a potential customer, although many exhibitions offer opportunities to do this as a feature or area.
Online – You can find a wealth of information about potential customers online, and approach companies that would be hard to reach using traditional methods. And, whilst this doesn’t always result in business it is worth a try!
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Seminars and events – Usually these come with a cost, and there is also travel, accommodation and expenses to think about.
Online – More often than not this is Free, and if there is a cost it’s not normally much.
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Despite a late comeback, and even though we live in the digital age it appears seminars and events still offer tangible benefits and particularly for business owner they can have a real impact!
If you’re in the North of England, the best place to visit is the Northern Business Expo at Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March. It's completely free to attend, and is the biggest event in the North of England so don't miss out - get your free ticket online now!