I have blogged before about the advantages of going to conferences – particularly if you work on your own.
As my professional conference is just over a week away I thought it was time to revisit the topic.
I have been to the CIMA Members in Practise conference for years and have always got key benefits from going:
- The conference is excellent for CPD, which as a professional management accountant, is vital. Although I don’t do tax or compliance myself I do need enough knowledge to help point clients in the right direction and conference is a good place to top up my knowledge.
- As well as specific CPD on accountancy issues we also have great key note speakers who motivate me to have the best business I can.
- Finally on the CPD front, sales and marketing is always a challenge for me and we have great workshops on how to get our messages across.
- For me, though, conference is about much more than just getting CPD. Because conference is full of like-minded individuals it is a great place to build relationships, which can carry me through the year. Working on our own can be a lonely place and these relationships help me to keep a balanced view of my world.
- And let’s not forget the gala dinner, disco, and the ‘craic’ at the bar! We have such a good time and, as I don’t get out very often, it is one of the few evenings in the year when I feel like a grown up!
I am really excited about what I will learn from this year’s conference but there is a sting in the tail.
This year I am one of the co-chairs (no pressure!!).
I am already having the pre-conference nightmares. In one I forget the speakers’ presentations and there is an auditorium full of delegates but no slides. Another nightmare scenario is that a key speaker doesn’t turn up and I have to come up with something myself!
Nightmares aside I know it will all be OK because we have put many hours of preparation into it and we know we have a great programme.
So, if you are cogitating about whether to go to your professional conference (especially if you have not gone before) my advice is ‘give it a go’. You will probably get much more out of it than you ever imagined!