Ask the Readers: Have You Ever Attended a Business Conference?

By Ashley Jacobs on 4 September 2012 (Updated 11 September 2012) 67 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Mami2jcn, Patrick, and Brenda for winning this week's contest!

Business conferences are an awesome way to meet new people, promote your brand, and expand your professional network. Many industries have at least one major conference each year and most people can say they've attended at least one conference during the course of their careers. However, there are people out there that, for one reason or another, have never been to a business conference.

Have you ever attended a business conference? If yes, what was your favorite part of the conference? If no, would you ever attend a conference if you had the opportunity?

Tell us if you have ever attended a business conference and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, September 10th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 10th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Alex H

Oh yes. Very yes. As a college student, attending conferences and conventions was probably the most powerful tool to gain post-grad employment. The opportunity to network is a tremendous resource for anyone able to take advantage of it. There's always something to learn and always someone new to meet. Make the most of the opportunities there, because they're unique - not something you'll get by staying at home.

Guest's picture
Christie

It has been a LONG time since I went to a business conference. I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 12 years now, so that is my life. That and trying to save money for my family by living frugally! :)

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Ernest S.

I've attended several, and my favorite aspects are the networking socials and opportunities. It's really nice to have a face to a name, especially when you work on virtual teams.

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Ernest S.

"Liked" on Facebook!

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Bethany

No, I've attended food shows before though, and they're a bundle of fun!

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Christie

Liked and commented on Facebook as well! :)

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Snowy Heron

I have attended business conferences. The best part was meeting people (customers) that I had just spoken to previously. The worst part is when I can't find someone to talk to.

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Brenda Faulkenr

I have - my favorite part was the networking with people from everywhere!

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Brenda Faulkner

I "like" you on Facebook!

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alison

I attented the Colorado SBDC Women's Small Business Conference in Keystone Colorado a couple of weeks ago. It was the first business conference I had attended, but I figured I would give it a shot. I'm so glad that I did! I learned a lot on topics that are relevant to my small-business which opened one year ago. I would definitely go to another business conference, and will probably attend this conference next year.
I liked you on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Betty

I've attended many conferences. Some good, some bad. I think it all depends on the main speaker. My favorite part of the meetings is meeting my counterparts from other areas of the State. Some I have spoken to on the phone, but never met before. And there's usually food. :)

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Betty

I liked you and your post on Facebook.

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Betty

I responded on Twitter. https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/1bets1/status/242999245559459840

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steph

yep i did for work- to be honest, it was not that useful, my favorite part was probably the networking open house

Guest's picture
NJJ

No, haven't attended any business conferences but have attended workshops and I agree they are great for networking and informative

Guest's picture
steph

i like you on facebook!

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NJJ

WB FB Fan C.j. Jennings

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TeJota

I have attended a business conference and the best part was actually meeting the individuals I worked with in person. Because it was an international company you could work with an individual throughout many projects and never meet them until a conference.

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Jennifer

yes, i have attended several conferences within my industry. the best part is the concentration of information, products, etc. relevant to my interests. it is such a great way to experience a range of new ideas in one location.

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Gemma

yes - and i loved the speakers who present well!! (meaning, they don't read exactly what's on the power point presentation :)

Guest's picture
Diane

Yes, we attend multiple business conferences in our industry each year. My favorite part of conferences is the opportunity to meet customers & potential customers in person after dealing with them by phone or email. Some conferences have great networking events including food & entertainment in the evenings.

When things work out, we take an extra day or two at our own expense to see the city or area we're in, so I've had an opportunity to see many places I would have otherwise missed!

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Diane

I like Wisebread on facebook~

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Beatriz

I've attended professional conferences in my field, but not to promote anything.

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Sonja J

Yes I have attended several.

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Carmen

At the time, I thought the most exciting part was all the vendor swag. :)

Donna Freedman's picture

I've been to several. My favorite was the inaugural Financial Blogger Conference. The energy level, the exchanges of ideas, the opportunity to learn from the classes and most of all, the chance to meet other writers (blogging can be a very isolating experience) were tremendous.
I would urge others to consider attending -- if it's sold out this year, then sign up for FinCon13.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I like you on Facebook

Donna Freedman's picture

I like you on Facebook.

Guest's picture
Happy Love

My business is post-secondary teaching, and I try to attend a conference for my field about once a year. I find the conferences great for feeling stimulated and connected to others in my field.

It helps a lot that my employer provides some funds to help defray the costs.

Guest's picture
Robert

Yes, on numerous occasions and for more than one segment of business. I usually find good things to apply

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Abigail

No business conferences, unless BlogHer counts. I've been to that twice and met a whole lot of folks. I'm about to go to FinCon so that should be equally network-y.

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Sarah

I've worked business conferences, but never attended one.

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Patrick

Yes. I enjoyed the breakout sessions on specific topics of interest.

Guest's picture

I go to several conferences each year for work, but FinCon is the first for the blog!

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MELISSA HANSSON

My old industry (PR) had business conferences. My current industry (furniture retail) has trade shows. I've attended and enjoyed both.

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MELISSA HANSSON

Liked on FB. Thank you.

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Therese

I have never attended a business conference, but I have attended scientific conferences.

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DeeDee

Nope, just trade shows.

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Lynda

no i have not.

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Lynda

i like wisebread on fb

Guest's picture

I have not gone to a business conference, but I would LOVE to attend one! :) This past year, I've made the transition to full-time stay at home mom / owner of an art business. I would love to network and learn how to run things better. :)

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KelR1

No, I never have.

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KelR1

Like you on FB.

Guest's picture

No, I have not attended a business conference, and if given the opportunity, I would definitely go!

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Liked you on FB!

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Elena

No, I haven't attended any business conferences

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Elena

I like you on Facebook (Elena Istomina)

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Mami2jcn

Yes, years ago I attended a business conference in Atlanta.

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Mami2jcn

I like you on Facebook as Mary Happymommy

Guest's picture
lahdee

no i havent and i wouldnt. those things look like a major waste of time. they also look more like frat parties. sure, you meet some people, make new contacts, but does real work get done? are those contacts ever of any real value?

Guest's picture
jsreilly

Hello! I have been to a business conference and it was actually very useful. I found that the best part of the conference were the work groups. We broke up into small groups of people from all kinds of different companies, and used all of our skills to solve problems that the conference was meant to address (marketing and data analysis). It was a lot of fun, expanded my network, and also allowed me to learn a lot.

And yes, I liked you on Facebook too!

Guest's picture
Linda

Yes! I have attended a Property Preservation conference in Washington DC, but my favorite part of that event was the incredible food served throughout the conference! Most of the content didn't relate directly to my job.

But I also attended a Get Motivated seminar, which was absolutely incredible. So motivating, wonderful, well known speakers. I had the opportunity to hear Laura Bush and Colin Powell on the same day....tremendous!

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Yes, I've been to many business conferences and trainings. The free food is always the best part of any of it!

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Shannon

Yes, my favorite part was the mingling events in the evening. You could break out of the boring meeting sessions and really be able to talk opportunities and create partnerships

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Shannon

Liked you on facebook

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kristina

Nope.

Guest's picture

Oh my yes, I've attended a number of business conferences! Some have been specific to an industry I was in at the time and I truly enjoyed catching up and hanging with my peers in that business. Other conferences were for general motivation or information for business-building. I enjoyed the content and often the "call to action" or challenges given at those conferences.

Finally, some of the conferences I attended were simply mandated by a supervisor and my favorite part of those were usually the food!

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Debbie

I've attended several conferences over the years. I know people say it's a great way to network, but I've never found the 'connections' to last more than a month or so. I found better connections made when I was a presenter at a conference. I was able to connect better with people and spoke with them after my presentation. I was also introduced to several people afterwards by some who attended my presentation. I highly recommend it - even if you're terrified of speaking in public. I am - and I've done it several times now. I'm still terrified, but I do enjoy sharing knowledge

Guest's picture
Rissa

I went to one with my work (Americorps). It was fun, but I didn't get any job offers out of it...