Is This Conference Worth Attending?

by Lee Buford on August 14, 2011

That’s a key question for anyone planning to attend one. I’ve attended many conferences and seminars in recent years, and this week I had the opportunity to attend the “Get Motivated” seminar here in Greenville. I’ll share more in terms of specific content from this seminar in future posts, but this one is relative to the broader concept of attendance and value of such events in general.

This particular event was quite the story, generating tremendous buzz in our city this week. There was much discussion, banter, and debate about its worthiness and impact, leading me to the conclusion that many don’t understand the point and purpose of such gatherings, or exactly how to maximize the impact of attending.

First, one must understand that such events are usually a bit streamlined in scope, catering to a certain niche or segment of people, and can be focused around any of a “gazillion” different topics or subjects. Each is targeted at a specific audience and/or career, trade, or area of motivation, education, or expertise. As a result, obviously, all are not for everyone. But there’s a good chance there’s more to be gained from all of them than you realize, and it’s up to you to own the results, profitability, and application in and from the ones you attend. Find the ones that interest or speak to you, and make it worth your time and investment.

Here are a five keys to doing just that:


Do some background work on the conference or seminar and its speakers. Know what you’re getting before you buy, and create an agenda or wish list of things you hope to take away from the experience. Be prepared and EXPECT to gain from it. If you do, you will.


My experience has been that there’s always more to these things than meets the eye…in a good sense. For example, many of the speakers I’ve heard little about often end up being the ones I get the most from in terms of content or inspiration. Be open-minded, and don’t write anyone off beforehand. Especially on the bigger stages, the speakers have proven track records and are well-respected, whether you’ve heard of them or not. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be there speaking to you.


This may be the single most important aspect of your day. I’m often amazed at the people who just sit and watch, taking nothing away for later reference. Take notes. Good notes. They will be as gold to you later! You’ll never remember the things you think you will, and you’ll always regret not writing it down for future reference if you don’t.


The conference or seminar is not over when it’s over. It’s just beginning! What are you going to go do now with what you’ve heard and learned? Review your notes. Re-write them. Pull out the good stuff. Categorize. Whatever works for you…do it! This is the reason you took the notes in the first place.


Ultimately, the intended purpose of any conference or seminar is to give you some type of tools, resources, or motivation to get better, make a difference, and contribute something more to the world around you. Soaking up knowledge and ideas is worthless if you don’t take action. Get up. Move. Do something with what you’ve learned.

Conferences and seminars provide a diverse range of speakers, each from varying backgrounds, with different perspectives, experiences, and ideas. Engage the speakers and the content. Learn, and then go apply it to your own life, trade, or art.

Your actions and contributions are the ultimate measure of a seminar’s success or failure…for you and for us! It’s all about helping YOU help OTHERS.

Listen, learn, and go make a difference. We’re all counting on you!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mgls December 9, 2015 at 2:04 am

Ah yes, nicely put, evroneye.


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