Welcome to Day #15 in our Travel is… series!
Spring is here, and with it comes a new round of conferences. It seems there are conferences for everything these days, homeschool, public school, finance, marketing, tech, food, even pet conferences. My personal favorite (of course) is the blog conference.
Even in that genre there is no shortage of choices. We have niche conferences galore! Although, being that we’re still working our way out of the recession, and money doesn’t grow on trees, I’m often asked an important question.
Is traveling to blog conferences worth the investment?
Short answer: Yes, absolutely.
Long answer: Yes, but you need to know exactly why you’re going. It’s so important to focus on what you’ll get out of the conference. What’s your ROI (return on investment)? Have a game plan for what you want to achieve. Focus on that, but be flexible. Many times I get an unexpected blessing while at an event just by being flexible and allowing my focus to shift momentarily.
So, what should you expect for your ROI? Well, it all depends on what you want, how you want to grow your blog and which specific conference you plan to attend. However, these are the most common returns.
Most bloggers attend conferences because they want to learn something they aren’t able to easily learn on their own at home. Hands-on experience with things like coding, photography or even marketing strategy is invaluable. Whatever it is you wish to learn, most conferences do their best to provide knowledgeable speakers that want to share their insider tips. Open and welcoming speakers are an asset to the growing blogger.
At one time or another we all hit the wall in blogging. We run out of ideas, or energy, or our passion wanes. Conferences are a great way to get a breath of fresh air! Being around others who face the same struggles not only bolsters us, but it makes us realize that these road blocks are surmountable. What better place to brainstorm fresh ideas and be inspired than in a room of people that get exactly who you are, what you do, and why you do it?
The phrase “social media” is kind of misleading isn’t it? Sure we’re being social by sharing via our blogs, tweeting virtual strangers and broadcasting on Facebook. But how connected are we really? Most of those relationships are just surface deep. How many of those 5,000 Twitter followers do you chat with on the phone? My guess is few to none. Conferences are a fantastic venue to turn those virtual friendships into IRL (in real life) relationships. Who are you more likely to consider a friend you can count on, or someone you’d like to partner with in a promotion – someone you’ve only exchanged with online, or someone that you’ve met face-to-face. I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to work with someone I’ve had the chance to connect with both online and off.
Speaking of connection, community is what flourishes from those true relationships. Sisterhood. Brotherhood. Your Tribe. Ask any successful blogger what helped them get to where they are today and they’ll be sure to tell you it was their community. This is the true social in social media! Your community wants to hear what you have to say. They value your voice and are eager to share you with their own online community. These are the people with whom you share common threads. This is where you get and you give back in equal measure to the betterment of all.
When you add up all of the above conference benefits, you get growth. You will get both personal and business growth that is measurable. This is the true measure of the ROI on a conference. Be warned, it won’t happen the week after the conference. It takes time to put new knowledge to use, make a plan of action from your inspiration, and fan those embers of connection into a flame of community. But you should eventually see growth. So, next year, when conference time rolls around again you know which conferences gave you the most bang for your buck. Ask yourself, did I create better ideas, do i have partners in this business, am I seeing a monetary return? These answers will give you the best insight.
I hope this year you’ll take a chance. Invest in yourself, your business, and your relationships by attending a conference. If you’re leery, start with a small conference. Or choose one that won’t take you far from home. Just get out there, travel, see what you’ve been missing!
I’d love to personally invite you to attend the 2:1 Conference this October. 2:1 is a great beginners conference due to it’s welcoming atmosphere and intimate size. Join us for a weekend chock full of all the ROI points listed above! Plus, get to meet Mrs. Word Traveling herself, Jen Reyneri. She’ll be speaking on being a good steward of your online platform.
Please click the image below to see the other posts in this series and to enter our fabulous Travel Giveaway!
Cheryl Pitt is the founder of the 2:1 Conference, and blogger at CherylPitt.com. As a Christian, wife, homeschool mother and avid social media user, she has a heart for strong family values and the companies that promote them. Cheryl loves the life God has given her, with her supportive husband and amazing kids to raise. She is passionate about encouraging others to walk the unique path God has given them.