Conferences are still an important aspect of business. The economic environment may make you think cutting down on conference expenses is a good thing, but think again. For the price of a few nights in a hotel and registration fees, you could meet suppliers, business partners or learn about new products that could improve your work. Here are just a few interesting conferences that could help your company get funding, improve marketing and use better technology.
Date: January 10-13, 2012
Details: If you anticipate updating technology in the next few months, start your research at the Consumer Electronics Show so you can see the newest products. The famous Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is well-known for highlighting new technology like TVs and other consumer appliances. Next year, the conference will host startup companies in its Eureka Park section. CES hopes to attract products from innovative, little-known small businesses, instead of just big international brands. With about 80 companies registered to participate in the program, think about attending and getting new information from them. Offerings will include tablets and other computer-related products, which could help you work more efficiently.
Seattle Angel Conference
Date: To be Determined in 2012
Details: New startups should keep track of this new conference since it is still under development. According to Xconomy, the goal of this conference is to pool together different angel investors’ money and reward early stage companies. Pooling money together should provide startups with much more support than simply contacting individual investors themselves. The organizers are still working out details, but expect to attend the event in Seattle sometime next year. Also, expect to talk to investors who worked for Seattle-based companies like Microsoft.
The conference will likely only be open to Seattle-based startups right now, so if you’re not located there, they may allow pitches from startups that want to move to Seattle. Seattle has a growing startup scene, so you would be joining a robust, technologically savvy environment.
Date: May 8-10, 2012
Details: This Chicago-based conference is the perfect event for businesses that depend on good graphic design, written content and online marketing. The expo offers attendees panels, meals, hotel discounts and plenty of opportunities to casually interact with others. The exact panels are still being created, but the expo has covered a wide range of useful topics in the past. These topics include new content management systems, email marketing, SEO and digital marketing. Even if you have a pretty basic website and marketing plan, attend to get an idea of things that can help you improve your online presence in the future.
The importance of digital marketing and written content has increased due to the amount of material people read on computers, tablets and smartphones. This expo is a great way to explore how other companies are developing their marketing and content strategies. Some much has changed in the past few years that you’re bound to develop useful contacts and learn from the panels.
Expos and conferences come with their own unique stresses, like arranging travel and time off from the typical workday, but they’re worth the effort. These events force you to consider new ways of working and promoting your business by immersing you in a focused environment with like-minded people. Attending special events makes new products and services come alive in a way that just reading about them can’t replace.