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Why You Should Let Your Employees Attend Conferences
Thursday, Feb 04, 2016

When companies consider letting their employees attend conferences and seminars, the only thing that might be deliberated is the expense: hotel, meals, travel, let alone the cost of the conference itself. Instead, companies should focus on the benefits of having a smarter workforce as a result of providing training and development opportunities.

Below are three reasons why companies should let their employees attend conferences:

  1. It Will Make the Company Better

Conferences provide a unique learning environment that is hard to duplicate. While a great deal of information can be found on the web, it’s hard cutting through the clutter to find quality, meaningful, or actionable content. My previous article, 5 Reasons You Should Attend a Conference in 2016, pointed out that, “Not only is the content likely to be of greater quality, but most conferences also include break-out sessions and workshops that allow you to put ideas to the test.” This critical hands on experience can be brought back to other teams and shared.

BMeaningful, a website that matches professionals to socially impactful jobs, recently highlighted the importance of having employees share what they learn at conferences.

By prioritizing the sharing of information with the rest of the team, you ensure that not only does the employee benefit, but the company does as well. Having a dedicated time to reflect and share the insights with the team is a great opportunity for discussion and learning. It also provides your employees with extra incentive to be engaged and attentive during the conference sessions.

  1. You Can Use It as a Recruiting Tool

iCIMS research eBook Why Would I Want to Work for You looked at job seeker’s attitudes toward their preferred company culture and desired perks. iCIMS discovered that after compensations plans, most job seekers are attracted to opportunities for employee development.

If your company already allows and encourages employees to attend conferences and seminars, be sure these opportunities are prominent in your employment branding, including your career site, social media pages, and other candidate communications.

  1. You Will Retain More Employees Over Time

Employees want development opportunities. Personal goals and priorities influence everything about an employee’s performance, from their decision to apply to a job at your company, to their decision to stay and grow with you overtime.

BMeaningful also highlighted the impacts of companies that don’t provide these opportunities:

One of the top reasons that employees leave their current employer is a lack of career mobility in the organization. Young top talent is looking for upward mobility, skill training or a clearly defined career path with their impact job. If your organization doesn’t have a formal career growth plan or internal professional development opportunities- conferences are a great alternative. Encouraging your employees to go to conferences signals you care about their development. 

Having employees attend conferences is a long-term investment. For employees, it influences their attitudes towards their jobs as well as their employers. Good conferences are often inspiring, insightful, and even necessary to be effective in today’s dynamic working environment. And more and more, promoting the fact that employees can take advantage of this opportunity at your company can be a game-changing differentiation in recruiting top talent.