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Industry Conferences - A Great Learning Opportunity

I talk a lot about the need to always be learning.  The speed of change today is such that if you don’t keep learning you will quickly be left behind.  One of the surprisingly effective ways to stay current is attending industry conferences.  Last week I attended our Canadian staffing industry conference organised by our industry association (ACSESS).  Here are just a few reasons why I invested a day and a half of my time into this event:

As a business owner this is a great opportunity to network with peers and competitors in a meaningful way, leading to open conversations about our mutual challenges, where the industry is going, economic trends and building relationships that make future tough conversations just that little bit easier!

I was inspired by several interesting keynote speakers who were not focused on our industry:

Bill Strickland told a story of hope and achievement.  He truly does make the impossible, possible … and changes lives every day because of the great work he has done providing a nurturing educational environment for troubled youth.  (Read his book)… Making the Impossible Possible!

David Foot is an economist specialised in demographics and his book Boom, Bust & Echo explains many of the economic shifts we have seen in recent years and his forecasts for the nations that will thrive into the future are very interesting.  Would you have picked Brazil, Turkey and Vietnam as future powerhouse nations?

Amanda Lang is a journalist, author and host of The Lang and O”Leary Exchange on CBC.  Her talk was about innovation, and was based on her book The Power of Why… and how curiosity is something we all have as children, yet if we could retain that curiosity we would have even more innovators!  An interesting and entertaining presentation.

I attended sessions dedicated or very relevant to my industry...

  • A round table of industry leaders talking about where they see things going.

  • A social recruiting session with an expert in that world.

  • An international look at our industry … perhaps a look at what might be coming, the challenges and opportunities.

  • A look at where the job boards are going, the implications of big data and how we need to prepare for its impact on our industry.

  • In the first day I took six pages full of notes!

  • There were exhibitors with offerings geared to our industry, software solutions and services.

  • There were networking events that allowed me to talk to private equity people, competitors and other industry experts.

Throw in a nice gala dinner, some awards and some entertainment… I would suggest this was a good use of my time!

Sign up conferences in for YOUR industry… you won’t regret it.