While attending The Market Research Event in November, I heard several talks that inspired me to look at the bigger picture of what research and marketing could be. What a great conference it was, truly an event to remember. I thought I would end this short series of TMRE posts by sharing some thoughts on why conferences like TMRE are still relevant, important, and a mandatory experience for anyone looking to grow in the marketing field.
Here are a few reasons you need to get online and start planning your next trip to a marketing conference.
Presence is Powerful
As our world becomes more digitally enhanced and grounded in online forms of communication, the impact of face-to-face communication only becomes more precious. While at this conference I was able to meet several vendor partners, as well as some peers and future mentors. I was there, and they were there. They saw my face, and I saw theirs. My face and body weren’t confined to a box in an online profile. As a result, the conversations and comfort level I experience with each of these groups has been enhanced in a major way. Meeting someone in person counts for more that we often think. Be present.
Live is Special
I watch a lot of documentaries. I love them. Its cinema, history, and helpful information rolled into one piece of literature or film. One of my recent additions is a documentary titled PressPausePlay, which covers the positives and negatives of the digital revolution on various fields of art, music, and culture. One piece of the film really intrigued me. One of the experts notes that while people’s access to music has never been easier and cheaper, this truth has benefited the music industry in some ways. One area in particular is the “live show”.
It’s one thing to buy a song for 99 cents and play it a few times. However, buying a $150 ticket and traveling with friends to see that same band annihilate a stadium through live music is entirely different story. The most committed and excited fans show up to the live shows, buy the t-shirt, and hopefully live to tell the story. I’m not trying to say you’re not committed to your field if you miss out on some conferences, but there is a distinct benefit to being at one live and taking in all of the sights and sounds. Miss a few online webinars and get out there – the t-shirts are usually free!
Check the Pulse
Another really fun thing about conferences is the ability to check the pulse of the industry. What are people selling? Who is pushing what? What are your peers saying about all of this? What’s the zeitgeist in the marketing world right now? All of these questions can either be chipped away at or answered in full by going to a conference and engaging with others. You may have your own hypothesis about where things are headed. Bounce those ideas off a few respected people and see what they think. You may find that you’re a little behind the times, or on the contrary, you may be on to something truly new and special.
Time has a way of slipping past us, doesn’t it? So take the initiative this year and get out there! You may be surprised at what you find.