Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why Should You Attend Professional Events?

English: Business card case enclosure
English: Business card case enclosure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever been to a professional event? A workshop?   A seminar?  An awards ceremony?  If  you haven’t it is time you did.  Why?

Because meeting people, talking, and giving someone a face and a personality to connect to your name is one of the best ways to make yourself memorable.
If you’ve had training in verbal communications (and if you’ve trained as an administrative assistant you should have some training) the best way to put your training to use is to get out there and talk to people.  Talk, ask questions, express your opinions, agree or disagree with people.  How are they reacting to you?  Are they running for the hills after five minutes or are they gathering around you?  Are they laughing when they are supposed to or are they rolling their eyes at badly expressed jokes?  Professional events give you a great opportunity to improve your verbal communications skills.  Even if you don’t have a job where you are expected to have great verbal skills, you will be very glad you worked on them when you leave your evaluation meeting with a healthy raise or a promotion!

Another good reason to attend professional events is to become more comfortable around managers, CEO’s and other company leaders.  I don’t mean you should be sitting around telling dirty jokes with them but you should be able to look unphased when you converse with them.  Most of us find the people that are at the top of the ladder to be at least a little bit unnerving but you can learn to avoid showing that.  Learn to control that nervous hair twisting.  Learn to speak to that scary boss while looking him in the eye, not looking at his tie or his ears.  When those who lead the company see that you are comfortable around them, they will forget that you are not one of them and that can open many doors to you.

Professional events give you many opportunities to get your name known.  When you make live conections with people they will be more likely to remember your name if there is a face connected to it.  They will be even more likely to remember your name if there is a conversation connected to it.  Even better – make sure you have business cards and use them.  People tend to collect business cards and keep them in their wallets.  How can they contact you if they don’t have your contact info?
If you have never attended a professional event, start looking for ones that are relevant to your job or to your industry.  Check out a couple of them.  See if they have an effect on your career.
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