When was the last time you attended an exhibition or conference?
What did you come away with - apart from carrier bags full of leaflets and information?
Maybe the event led to an enhanced enlightenment around a subject matter, a greater depth of knowledge on a product, market or industry, or both of these, plus an almost greater benefit? Yes by that I mean the benefit of catching up with old colleagues and clients, and meeting new and potential colleagues and clients.
We all recognise the educational benefits from attending conferences and exhibitions etc but all too often we forget the softer touch, sometimes more important element to events – that of networking. No I don’t mean hard slog networking I mean the type where you come away from an event with a genuine warm fuzzy feeling.
That is what happened to me only yesterday as I attended the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo 2016 in Manchester.
Yes the event was great for the purpose in which it was intended ie enhancing my knowledge of all the great and very innovative techniques that are being deployed to enhance the health and social care industry. However, for me the event benefitted me even more than that from a networking perspective.
Expo gave me the opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and clients and understand what is new and exciting in their worlds. It also enabled me to have really interesting and enlightening conversations with people who could one day become clients, partners or colleagues. All of which helped me to come away from the event with so much more than a carrier bag full of information… I came away with a warm fuzzy heightened sense of well-being.
No this sort of feeling and outcome is not quantifiable in terms of cost-benefits of attending such events, and it is for this reason that it is often over looked and forgotten when we assess the worthiness of exhibitions and conferences. However, in real terms, it is potentially the most positive advantage of spending the day in a networking environment.
Yes we are all busy people. But we also need to remember to add opportunities to meet up with old and new colleagues and clients into our hectic diaries - the benefits of which are numerous.
Thanks to everyone that I met at Expo yesterday, for helping to provide me with a fuzzy heightened sense of well-being – it was great to meet up with you all!