Business Events – why bother? Social junket or vital for career & business

As new business models supersede the old, and the fast pace of the entrepreneurial playground threatens to completely disrupt traditional modes of working, how then do we ensure that our competencies remain relevant?

The short answer – skills. No matter how ‘new’ the business model – all businesses need skilled practitioners – and as business processes change, so too does the diverse range of skills that we might require to ensure our ultimate ‘self-saleability’.

One of the interesting things about the ‘new business world’ is that skills go beyond what we might learn in an academic environment. Where once we were only required to bring knowledge into the room, we’re now expected to demonstrate emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and even business development skills at a level that few traditional learning institutions cover.

The new organisational order still needs people with a solid skill-base AND a rich and diverse toolkit to meet changing commercial demands and market influences, to remain relevant and provide increasing value in the development of your professional career.

But beyond that, it needs agile change-makers able to respond to changing business environments, to ensure that businesses themselves are keeping up with the trends, and not falling into a self-satisfied, non-competitive slump.

So how can a well-crafted business event help you to become more skilled, and more agile?

For most people, there are essentially two reasons to go to a business event;

1.       Professional development / social purpose / personal interest /

  • It’s good to be involved in a local community, to take ownership of, and feel pride in your industry and area in which you work.
  • It allows you to keep a pulse on local market trends, learn from peers and competitors
  • It benefits you to keep up-to-date on national and international future predictions and thinking and keep your ear to the ground for                   breaking news.
  • It keeps ongoing professional certifications and accreditations up to date
  • Find a job! It’s a great way to find those companies looking for your professional talent

2.       Business opportunities / research & development / recruitment / networking

  • It’s a source for prospective clients
  • It gets you ahead of the competition when you hear directly about leading research and future predictions to keep your R&D relevant
  • You will find a new pool of keen enthusiasts in your field of expertise, your next key employee might be sitting next to you
  • The biggest value your business has is your network, keeping it growing and keeping it relevant

So, in this issue of Partner & Prosper’s Business Events series, we’ll consider the first key stakeholder – the individual, number 1, you!

This one’s for those of you who are looking to find a job, looking to grow in their role, or looking for advancement opportunities.

At the end of the day, all humans ‘strive. To do more, earn more, be stronger, safer, healthier, happier, smarter than the average bear…

But on the road to career advancement are the obvious speedbumps – we don’t grow without learning, and we don’t learn without striving.

There will always be people who want to learn skills, people who want to improve skills and people who want to hire skills. BUT while not everyone necessarily wants to learn;  arguably everyone does want to achieve.

So, business events are evolving to capture the ‘striving’ learner. We’re broadening our offerings beyond basic networking opportunities, and into the areas of personal development and growth, covering areas which are less often learnt in the classroom, and more often learnt (and sometimes poorly) on the job. We’re bridging the gap between employer needs and employee skills – particularly in the socio-empathetic area.

Whether you are a business owner, freelancer or consultant, corporate professional, technical practitioner, recent graduate, tradie, foodie, or any other professional – your skills and your interpersonal abilities need constant evaluation and improvement to keep up with an ever evolving environment. What we learned yesterday may not be deployed in the same way tomorrow.

Equally, business events and conferences need to stay ahead of the pack to ensure you get what you need to adapt and achieve.

If its skills you’re after, seek out those events that will help you to achieve, whose speakers will make an actual impact, the ones that are there for your benefit, who will help you get to where you want to go.

Be brave, be bold and be open to new skills. It’s time to build new thinking into your toolkit to orchestrate teams with design thinking, collaboration, cross-silo cross-organisational coordination and innovation at their core – this is a brave new business world.

Hattip acknowledgements to Amy and Dave