“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
– William Pollard
While global economic growth has increased from 3.2 per cent in 2016 to 3.6 per cent in 2017, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that the unemployment rate remains at over 192 million in 2018. The World Employment Social Outlook Trends Report further adds that by 2019, the projection for unemployed people will rise to 1.3 million.
These dismal numbers are brought about by a changing world.
There is a sweeping transformation that affects all corners of the globe when it comes to employment. While diverse trends happen between emerging and developing countries, it is undeniable that the wave of change is influenced by several factors. Across the board, rapid technological changes, digitization, and globalization call forth new business practices, new jobs, and new skills.
This means that the labor force cannot rest on their laurels. The evolution of jobs can make a current role extinct. What was once a key organizational position can suddenly become redundant. That is why companies all over the world are seen making efforts to up-skill and/or re-skill their employees.
A Personal Stake
Workplace success does not rely solely on the companies, however. It is, more importantly, up to the employee to ensure that he or she remains relevant. In a world where artificial intelligence can easily be incorporated to achieve workplace productivity, people must play up their human skills to stay on top of the game.
The success of a person in an organization rests on his or her ability to embrace new challenges. To keep up with the pack, there must be a burning desire to learn new things or improve current abilities. Lifelong learning is the key to remaining competitive in a swiftly evolving employment landscape.
Opportunities for Development
Proactive companies that want to keep up with the future very wisely recognize the importance of equipping their workforce with necessary knowledge and skills. They invest in in-house training programs, come up with work-life balance campaigns, and strive to make sure that employees are kept happy and content within company walls.
At the same time, HR practitioners, seeking the most relevant courses that will arm their personnel with the necessary tools for success, also seek external professional development programs.
It must be top of mind for the employee, however, that their professional growth must not solely be the responsibility of their organization. Employees must, on their own, have that initiative to seek out learning opportunities that will help them achieve continued success.
Seminars and conferences can ably address this need for development. Here are the top 3 reasons why attending conferences is beneficial to a person’s professional success:
1. Sharpen Your Skills
Professional conference organizers come up with several conferences and trainings every year. These well-thought-out, masterfully planned conferences provide a venue for employees to hone their current skills or learn a completely new concept.
Hands-on workshops and interactive dialogues with speakers and fellow conference attendees provide insightful learning nuggets that will add to your information bank. Innovative market trends, fresh industry ideas, and benchmark practices can grease the wheels and help your mind churn out novel ideas.
2. Expand Your Network
Conferences are a huge playground for like-minded individuals to meet and exchange ideas and experiences. These provide an unsurpassed opportunity to expand your professional network that may lead to more doors opening for you.
Regardless if it is a local conference or a huge social summit, the networking opportunities are endless. Whether you come in groups or alone, the chances of you meeting a variety of people are high. Not only will you be able to learn from their own experiences, but you will also learn how to practice face-to-face conversations and interaction.
In the age of social media and digital communication, being able to carry on a live dialogue also promotes approachability and interpersonal skills.
3. Change Your Scenery
Staring at the same office space can take its toll on you. It would be helpful to get up and out once in a while. Some people are more productive when they can get a breath of fresh air, change the lighting, or even pipe in a relaxing tune.
When attending seminars and conferences, the change in scenery can also help inject a new vibe into your system. The energy given off by excited attendees, the impassioned speeches of resource speakers, and overall positive air can be reinvigorating for you.
Well-organized conferences offer a feast for the senses – colorful décor, lively music or conversations, delicious food, and more importantly, stimulating and thought-provoking talks from some of the planet’s most brilliant minds.
Grab the Chance
Conferences are held around the world at regular intervals for a reason. This is not merely to get people to sit and listen, but more importantly, learn essential information. The opportunity to open up a world of wonders will certainly enhance your knowledge and skills in the field you are interested in.
When you are given the chance to attend a conference, grab it. Arm yourself with the latest market trends, make new connections, and do not stop learning. Continue to improve yourself and ride that wave to success.
With over 20 years of experience in B2B marketing, Annick Nuyens first worked in the hospitality service industry and then moved to the knowledge industry. She currently works for Informa in the Dubai office, where she oversees marketing for public and in-house training courses, conferences, exhibitions and managed events across the Middle East and Africa.