IAN FERGUSON: Broaden your horizons with conference travel


Ian Ferguson

Post-COVID businesses are understanding now, more than ever, the power and impact of the shrinking corporate village. Video conferencing, training and degree programmes that immersed us into industries, sectors and countries we had never considered resulted in a wider platform for true capacity building. Many have pledged to continue to leverage this exposure by attending international conferences and programmes that will undoubtably deepen our ability to deliver at, and above, global standards.

This week, our column focuses on the benefits of attending international conferences and trade shows. Here are six of the top reasons to make this investment.

  1. You get to share your research and best practices with peers. Consider the power of peer tutoring. When you teach, you learn. The questions and probing that results only serves to strengthen your research, and challenges the boundaries of where you are and where you are headed.

  2. You get to strengthen your presentation and engagement skills. These conferences provide you with opportunities to network at the highest levels. Both the informal and formal opportunities to share become available at these conferences and should be taken advantage of.

  3. You become inspired by new ideas. These seminars and conferences are usually filled with the greatest minds and scholars, who have done immense research in a global context and can provide the '10,000 feet above sea level' view of what is next.

  4. For those in the field of academia, these conferences provide unique opportunities to publish research as well as collaborate with experts in the specific discipline being discussed at the conference. Most journal publications and respected articles have significant contributions from other regions and scholars.

  5. These international conferences provide great networking opportunities to engage people at all levels in the value chain of your sector. You get to share with producers, consumers and supplementary observers. This socialisation broadens your horizons and allows you to walk away with a worldwide view of your field.

  6. Conferences allow you to take a break from the mundane and ordinary routine of your work. It can be quite refreshing to immerse yourself in another culture away from the hustle and bustle of meeting deadlines and getting the work out. An added benefit might also be seeing another culture, and engaging people who have a different perspective on life and work.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organisations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@ coralwave.com.

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