Fresh from returning home from my trip to Philadelphia for Affiliate Summit East, I am feeling invigorated and inspired to get things done. Every time a conference comes around, I get a sort of feeling of dread. How can I be gone that long? How much will it cost? Will the family be okay without me? I’m sure most of us who work from home go through the same feelings of both anticipation and fear at the same time. But those of us who attend conferences know that it will be well worth it.
Just why do we keep flocking to conferences like Affiliate Summit, Commission Junction University, ShareASale ThinkTank, Linkshare Symposium, and BlogHer when we have so much work to do already? Here are some of my personal observations.
- Getting out of the house. I’m just going to lay this one on the table. When you work from home all the time, you need to get away–and not just to the grocery store. You need to step completely outside your comfort zone and do something different to maintain your sanity. What better way than to combine business with fun?
- Creating connections. I would have Sunshine Rewards if not for conferences. But I would not have Wine Club Group. An entire portion of my business portfolio is now based on the connections that I made at Affiliate Summit. Even beyond that, the connections I make with merchants help my business to be more profitable because I get increased commissions, contest sponsorships, and exclusive deals.
- Education. Sure, you can learn from webinars and ebooks. But you can’t beat sitting in on a session of experts in your industry. In addition, you will learn a little bit more just by listening when given the chance. Pay attention to what people are talking about when they casually chat at lunch. They may be mentioning tools and tips that you have never heard before.
- New Ideas. There’s nothing like a good conference full of smart people to get your creative juices flowing. Many of us joke that we always have a list of domains up for renewal every August and January from the ideas that came out of Affiliate Summit. Being immersed in the industry, collaborating with others, and taking in the new developments are a sure fire way to get you thinking about ways to make your business better or even start a new business altogether. I take away at least one new idea from every single session I attend.
If there is any way that you can make it happen, I encourage you to find at least one conference you can attend in the next year. Look for scholarships, ticket giveaways, and sponsorships if you have to. You will find that the investment of both time and money will come back to you.