By Debbie Goddard
Every year you are invited to attend dozens of different industry conferences, with many offering high impact keynote speakers and a great depth of potential insights into our industry. However, how do you go about evaluating the true worth to your employer in terms of a return on investment?
Learn something new
The most obvious benefit to attending a conference comes from being introduced to new concepts and business practices to help you be more efficient and effective in your job. Management is constantly evolving and the demands of technology, customer needs and demographics requires even the most experienced of club managers to sharpen up on their knowledge and keep on top of their game.
Conferences give you the chance to listen to industry leaders and professionals and provides the opportunity to ask them questions in a face-to face environment, which you can’t get from reading an article or listening to a podcast from inside your office.
The club world revolves around the value of a network and the chance to meet fellow managers from various different backgrounds, from different parts of the world and with unique specialist skills who offer the chance for you to grow on a personal and professional level.
No problem exists at your club that other managers have not been through and your network allows you the chance to learn from their experience (or mistakes!). Such common interests could perhaps lead to a club visit, or even a reciprocal arrangement producing a direct benefit to your club members.
Your peers provide a valuable resource of ideas, best practices, insights and contacts that are essential in order to grow your business and your career. As your network grows, conferences are most commonly the only chance to catch up with friends and mentors that we would otherwise only connect with through social media.
Develop your career
Attending a conference demonstrates a conscious effort to educate yourself and a commitment to improving your performance, which not only enhances your CV, but crucially provides vital education credits for the CCM pathway. Not only that, but you might even meet someone that could become your next employer!
There is a significant challenge in setting time aside in a working day to meet with industry suppliers and conferences often provide an invaluable opportunity to meet with sales directors and CEOs who can often be some of the best connections you can make.
With technology changing at an ever faster pace, it is vital to spend time with industry suppliers who understand the club environment and offer bespoke solutions to everyday problems. Conferences offer an unrivalled chance to meet with the top club management suppliers in all sectors of the industry.
Club management can be an isolated profession and it is easy to get stuck in the habit of the daily grind. A conference should always be fun, providing an upbeat and energised atmosphere provided by people with a love for the profession. This can renew the excitement for the job that you chose and in the long run it will make you happier, healthier and more productive. Also, attendance by a fellow member of staff can be a great team building exercise.
In summary, these are some of the benefits of attending a conference.
- Sharpen your knowledge
- Gain and share new ideas and best practices
- Learn about the latest innovations and insights
- Meet influencers and industry experts face to face
- Make new contacts and stay connected with friends and colleagues
- Team building
- Break out of your comfort zone
For details of our European Conference on Club Management 2019, click here
Debbie Goddard is the Association Manager for the Club Managers Association of Europe and has been working with the association for around 9 years. Debbie is responsible for the CMAE’s administration function, communications and more recently finance, aswell as working with the Director of Education to help organise the Management Development Programme courses.