Different Types of Business Conferences For Women
Going to regular business conferences is an important part of managing your career. However, not all business conferences are the same. Some focus on industry techniques, while others focus on managing the specific work-life issues particular to women’s lives.
You should plan to attend at least one conference per year, as part of your personal career growth plan. What conference should you choose? Take a look at the three major conference categories and see which one feels the most right for you, right now.
Looking for that dream job? Hoping to use your current experience to find a new position with new challenges? No matter where you are in your career, a networking conference can help get you to the next level.
Some networking conferences are specifically based on women’s needs, such as the conferences and meetup groups listed in Empower Lounge’s Top Networking Groups for Women Entrepreneurs. Take some time to find networking conferences specifically targeted to women in your particular career stage or industry. Then, attend the conference with a stack of business cards and a willingness to talk — and listen — to everyone you meet.
No matter what your industry is, chances are there’s an industry conference for you to attend. These conferences often go in-depth on one or more areas affecting your industry, whether they look at upcoming trends, emerging strategies, new technologies, or simply how to improve industry Best Practices.
Sometimes, you need to join an industry group or association to have access to the best industry conference opportunities. For example: the Investment Management Consultant Association (IMCA) provides numerous industry conference opportunities to people who are members of the association. These conferences, which include key industry skills such as wealth management techniques for high net-worth clients, are available to both members and non-members, but IMCA members receive significant conference fee discounts.
Take a look at the associations and conferences in your industry. Consider signing up for an industry conference this spring. Often, employers will help you fund conference expenses, since you’ll take what you learn back into your workplace and use it to improve your own skills.
Work-Life Balance Conferences
If you feel like your work and your life are already out of balance, it may seem impossible to take a weekend or even a day off and attend a conference. However, conferences designed to help you manage the demands of work and life prove absolutely essential to women who feel overwhelmed, stressed out, or otherwise anxious about the responsibilities that face them both at work and at home.
The number of work-life balance conferences available can also be overwhelming. There’s the annual Work Life Congress, the National Black Women’s Life Balance and Wellness Conference, the Texas Conference for Women (which includes a large work-life balance component), and countless others. If you’re in the position to need a work-life balance conference right now, don’t stress too much about which conference you choose. You’ll learn something no matter where you end up.
As you proceed through your career, continue to attend conferences regularly. Once you become familiar with a specific conference, see if you can take on a leadership role within the conference, such as volunteering to be a panel speaker. Also, don’t be afraid to shake things up — if you went to an industry conference last year, consider a networking conference this year. Remember that no matter which conference you choose, you’re bound to learn something that can help your career grow.