Making that Conference Worthwhile

I’ll soon be attending the annual national conference with my direct sales company. It will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to it.

Attending a national conference isn’t cheap. There’s the registration fee. There’s the hotel room. There’s food. There’s gas there and back (or a bus, train, or plane if you live farther than I). All in all it can cost quite a bit.

Why do I go? I always get a boost for my business. I always come back with ideas that help me tweak my parties, my host coaching, and my recruiting in ways that make me better at my job. Yes, I have a lot of fun, but I could have lots of fun for a lot less. The Furry Guy and I are good at having inexpensive fun. It’s the business contacts and information that make this worth my time and money.

Sadly, I know that there will be a lot of people there with me who will waste their money. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Bored Barbara will arrive with the attitude that she’s tried everything before. They aren’t going to tell her anything new. And, she’s right to a certain extent. The basics are the basics. You need to connect with people and provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions for your host. There will be a few new twists on those things, but the fundamentals are the fundamentals for a reason. If you go to a conference daring them to show you something completely new and never-before thought of, you’ll be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you go with an open attitude, you just might be surprised. Sometimes the smallest changes can make a really big difference.

Social Sally
will have a ball. She’ll talk with everyone. She’ll stay out late with those people she sees only at the conference. She’ll chat her way through meals. She might even miss a workshop or two in order to spend time with friends or catch up on that sleep she missed. The social aspects of a conference and the connections made there are important. They just aren’t the most important things. Sally will come back with lots of memories but no real boost to her business. Have fun, but focus on the business at hand.

Routine Randy will be all excited about what he’s learned. He’ll take lots of notes and dream lots of dreams of the changes he’ll make. Then he’ll get back home and fall right back into his old routine. Those notes will be set aside until he has time to get around to making the changes. He’ll probably come across them as he’s getting ready for next year’s conference and think, “Oh, yeah, I was going to do that.” If you don’t make the time to make the changes, the information does you no good at all.

Impatient Irma will get back with a list of changes and start in right away. Of course, these will be new things. They won’t feel comfortable the first few times. There won’t be an immediate turn-around in her business. So, she’ll decide that these weren’t good ideas. Maybe next year will be better. I make a pledge to love an idea for three months (sometimes six months). At the end of that time I evaluate the success. Of course, if something feels completely wrong, not just uncomfortable, I give myself permission to stop right away. That’s rare. Sometimes a new idea will need some tweaking to get it just right for me and my customers. But, I’ll never know that if I don’t give it a chance.

It is always my goal to show The Furry Guy how much of a benefit I get from going to a conference. Each year my business grows in one way or another as a result of things I learn at our conference. If you’re attending your company’s conference, be sure that you’re making it worthwhile.


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