I thought as a conference I am organising is just around the corner it would be a good time to revisit the theme of professional conferences.
I have been to the CIMA Members in Practise conference for years and have always got key benefits from going:
- The conference is excellent for CPD, which as a professional management accountant, is vital. Although I don’t do tax or compliance myself I do need enough knowledge to help point clients in the right direction and conference is a good place to top up my knowledge.
- As well as specific CPD on accountancy issues we also have great key note speakers who motivate me to have the best business I can.
- Finally on the CPD front, sales and marketing is always a challenge for me and we have great workshops on how to get our messages across.
- For me, though, conference is about much more than just getting CPD. Because conference is full of like-minded individuals it is a great place to build relationships, which can carry me through the year. Working on our own can be a lonely place and these relationships help me to keep a balanced view of my world.
- And let’s not forget the gala dinner, disco, and the ‘craic’ at the bar! We have such a good time and, as I don’t get out very often, it is one of the few evenings in the year when I feel like a grown up!
I am really excited about what I will learn from this year’s conference but there is a sting in the tail.
Again I am chair of the conference (no pressure!!).
Last year the conference nightmares included not bringing the speaker slides and having to wing a presentation because one of the speakers didn’t turn up (could happen for real!). My nightmare of choice this year has been that a random eastern European pipe band crashes the event and plunges us all into chaos.
Nightmares aside I know it will all be OK because we have put many hours of preparation into it and we know we have a great programme.
So, if you are cogitating about whether to go to your professional conference (especially if you have not gone before) my advice is ‘give it a go’. You will probably get much more out of it than you ever imagined!