I plan to go to Doreen Rainey's conference "Get Radical" in March, IVAA in April/May and eWomen in August.
I absolutely love going to VA events and wouldn't miss IVAA (especially since it's Vegas and that is on my bucket list).
This year I decided to start a budget for conferences outside of the VA world as well. Places where my clients will be. The Return on Investment (ROI) is huge at these conferences and you make so many valuable connections and most importantly the quality of the speakers is second to none.
When I am deciding on a conference I consider a few things:
1. What is the potential ROI (will potential clients be there, will I make connections that may know my potential clients, are there topics that I am interested in learning about, but that will give me new skills in my business)
2. What is my goal going in (build relationships, learn a new skill, listen to motivating speakers, etc.) that will have the biggest impact on me and my business right now.
It has only really been this past year that I have ventured outside the VA world, but before that I concentrated on VA events because my budget was much smaller. As a new Virtual Assistant I told myself I didn't need to attend these conferences or I couldn't "afford" to go. After attending my first conference I realized I couldn't afford not to go.
I made so many connections with other VAs and the thing I forgot is that these VAs are in front of my potential clients too. Not every VA is going to be a good fit for a potential client and because I went to these events and made a good impression on my VA colleagues they began to refer the people that weren't a good fit for them to me. I quickly started gaining business, experience and saw a good Return on Investment.
On the flip side I am now the person going to these events looking to make connections for potential referrals as my business is full.
Networking in person is so important and as Virtual Assistants we are all guilty of "hiding" behind our computers from time to time and forgetting that.
Okay sorry to have jumped up on my soap box and I will stop preaching now about why I think conferences are so important!
Tawnya, I can't wait to see you again this Spring and we will have to do Vegas right and do some sight seeing just as we did in Memphis!!