Actually it’s the most common complaint I get when asking people to pay to attend, sponsor or exhibit at conferences like Wi-Fi NOW. It’s true that some conferences do offer free attendance, but my experience with those is that generally, they’re not worth it. In that sense, you always get what you pay for!
But more to the point – here’s why I think participating in conferences is essential. The points below are especially important to the Wi-Fi industry because we’re a fairly young and – to be honest – a fragmented bunch. We need to do something about that. Here are my five top reasons for why you need to take action!
Even with Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, you can’t completely virtualise meeting people. Every good business person knows that nothing replaces meeting people live. Business is made when like-minded people connect based on common interest. Nothing beats being face to face.
The Wi-Fi industry is – well, honestly – all over the place. There’s venues, carriers, small biz, large biz, stadiums, software, startups, etc. etc. This is part of the charm and also the Achilles Heel of the Wi-Fi industry. I think this has to change. We need to come together to learn, consolidate and do business. That’s what Wi-Fi NOW is very much about.
Promotion is one thing – engagement is something else. There are lots of great products and services out there, but marketing flyers by themselves just don’t cut it any more. The best way to engage is to be there in person. Show what you stand for. Share your interest, commitment and energy.
All the stuff you won’t read about online, on webinars, and in official statements. I get more value out of a ten minute open chat with a colleague than hours of attending online webinars with canned content. That’s where ‘the magic’ happens. Look for it at our events. It’s priceless 🙂
Take a ‘corporate holiday’ from the daily rat-race. Your boss might not like me calling events for ‘corporate holidays’ but there’s some truth to that. If you love your job (and a lot of us do!) a great event is a chance to do it better, get inspired help to support others in the ecosystem to do the same. Two or three days connecting live will give everyone lots of ammunition for their business going forward. It’s worth it 🙂
CEO & Chairman, Wi-Fi NOW