What are Better Investments Rather than Conferences?
Conference Perks versus Investing in Team Development
Conferences are spreading. Mainly because they make a lot of money for organizers, hotels and airlines. There has to be a better way or at least a way to get a better return on the investment. Consider these things before booking more conferences.
Investment. Sending 1-3 people to a conference may be the same as developing your entire team. Registration fees run $1,000+; add flights, taxis, hotel, food and entertainment and the cost of a conference runs from $2,000 to $5,000 per person.
Send 3 people or develop your entire team.
1. Ideas. Good conferences deliver a lot of innovative ideas from outside your business. While engaging and developing your team generates innovations specific to your clients, challenges and products.
2. Retention and Sharing. People don’t share what they learn at conferences. The learning stays at the conference because the ideas never get the time and attention required to implement. The best of intentions gets overwhelmed by the number of ideas.
3. Business impact. Hearing ideas at a conference changes an individual’s perspective. Developing the team means applying learning and making behavior changes together to improve results and relationships.
4. Strategic investment. Sending many to conferences? You may have a massive opportunity. One client spending over $100,000 sending individuals to conferences redirected those funds and implement quarterly development programs for her entire team. She connected her budget to the results she desired.
5. Who is important? Conferences tend to be perks or thank you gifts from a well-intended manager unsure how to motivate or develop their staff. Team development reinforces everyone’s importance and the team’s development needs.
6. Branding. Sometimes your brand just needs to be seen at a conference. This becomes a cost of doing business. To dramatically improve your customers’ experience get the whole team engaged and focused on learning to remove road blocks and surprise customers in Live the Brand.
7. Innovation alert. Conferences can make sure you are aware of innovations in your industry or business-critical components of your business. Engaging your team to apply theses innovation may deliver longer-term rewards as teams innovate on current processes, perspectives and relationships.
8. Networking. Conferences deliver opportunities to network outside the business especially when looking for new relationships. Internal team members appreciate getting to collaborate together to improve everyone’s results and relationships.
9. Turnover. Conferences introduce talent to outside opportunities. Aligning and engaging the team retains top talent. Talent stays because of their team and leader.
10. Engagement. Speakers tell and 90% is forgotten within 48 hours. Developing the team actively focuses on how to apply learning to improve results. Pair someone returning from a conference to engage their team to adopt and implement the ideas harvested.
11. What is your development philosophy? Do you want a strong team implementing a system or strong individual contributors? Consider Blue Man Group versus Siegfried & Roy – only one could go on after a member departed suddenly. Your choice of where to invest development funds speaks loudly about your priorities.
12. Team’s relationship to the attendee. A great conference might change a leader’s way of thinking. Challenges arise when they return to the team and no one else thinks the same. When this happens, hire a learning designer to engage the team to apply what the leader learned.
13. Its Doug. we acknowledge our bias. We work for both conference organizers and leaders responsible for results. Our bias is that conferences are primarily a poor investment. Here’s why – the flawed approach. Speaking at people does not work. Our conference work focuses on engaging the participants actively Team-centered or participant-centered learning and engagement drives business returns. Yes, ideas can come from conferences and books. Only when those ideas get applied and owned by a team do the results shift for your business and organization.
NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style.
Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.