Should You Take Your Team to Business Conventions?
Conventions, conferences, expos, trade shows. Each may be a little different in nature, but they all mean one thing: something different to do! These gatherings may not be the most exciting experience, but they’re something to put on the calendar and look forward to. To desire new experiences is to be human! And every business event offers something new, even if it’s as inconsequential as seeing a guy in a neon yellow suit. So is it worth dragging the whole team out of the office and into an environment of small talk and sales pitches? I say yes! Here are a few reasons why it could be a great idea to not only attend conventions yourself, but to bring the whole gang.
It can be a team building experience!
Through new experiences, we create more solid relationships with our colleagues. Learn things together, meet new people with your team by your side, and find things to laugh together about the next day at work. Amy in reception may be reserved and straightforward behind her desk. But you may only get to experience office-party-Amy a few times a year. Getting her out from behind that desk may give her more opportunity to come out of her shell, and you the opportunity to get to know your employee on a more significant level.
You can multiply your networking.
There is power in numbers! Networking can be advantageous to you as a professional, or to your business as a whole. And although you may be the most charming person you know, not having more people by your side (or covering more ground over the venue) may lead to lost opportunity. You may come to find James in accounting has stellar rapport with Mr. Important Business Man #3, leading to promising options for your business, or even to professional growth for James. Who knows?
You may find possible vendors.
You may not realize you could use a new water delivery company until you stumble upon one with strapping new water boys and free delivery. You may not realize you could use all kinds of new or different vendors, because you’re just the boss… not the expert of every department! That’s what your employees are being paid to do. With your team by your side, you can get feedback on possible vendor or partner improvements from your department heads in real time. Plus, meeting a vendor prospect in real life can often be more telling of their business model or interpersonal demeanor than a never-ending internet search.
Everyone can use a break…
Who decided school children were the only ones to get field trips? A break in the monotony of daily work can boost productivity tenfold. Sure, everyone may be a day of work behind. But after a “fun day,” work may not seem so grueling, and you may see improvement in work quality over a greater period of time. Plus, adding small perks to employees’ jobs wherever you can will make your team feel more valued, which could result in more admiration and loyalty to their boss! A field trip could be a small price to pay for a valuable return.
Obviously the swag!
Your employees probably won’t leave the convention with frowns on their faces. And if the enjoyment they had wasn’t a result of the experience alone, it’ll almost surely be from the FREE SWAG! Okay, maybe no one’s walking out with truly braggable merch, but everyone loves free stuff! Even if they only collected 7 cheap pens, 3 awkward sized notepads, and an ugly tote bag, your team members will feel like they got more out of the day than just a paycheck.
There can always be more benefits to attending a convention or expo, you never know what you’ll run into! Sharing that experience with your team could mean more to them than you might realize. Maybe it’ll even mean more to you than you might expect.