Just as we mentioned the importance of our Toronto office space senior staff Attending Conventions and Seminars to help us Serve you Better, it is also important for you as well to attend conventions and trade meetings with those in your industry or supply chain. In many instances, you do not need to be a member to attend a convention of a professional or trade association – you can request to be an observer so that you can learn more about the benefits of membership.

Trade or professional membership in an industry association offers many benefits that keep business owner members on top of important, ever-changing issues, trends and government involvement within their market. Many people believe that one of the greatest benefits of being a member in an association is the business networking and camaraderie that goes on among members. There is a great, quick read on the Intuit blog for small business called 5 Ways That Joining a Trade Association Can Help You Boost Business.

Yes, there are plenty of online activities that you can benefit from through associations. But there is one thing that is indispensable – live conferences and conventions for members. Despite the many benefits of technology, there is no substitute for live, in-person small-business conferences, preferably at a conference room rental in an office business centre, or large trade meetings at a convention centre. Live conferences, along with meetings or training events, give you the opportunity to watch and learn from visual cues, body language, and allow you to observe the overall atmosphere that is being provided. One of our office for rent Toronto clients who also rents out our training seminar room tells us that “people often forget, when connecting online, about the non-verbal elements of face-to-face meetings and seminars.” He tells us that these types of meetings and training sessions give attendees the opportunity to see, feel, touch and absorb the information being presented.

Another benefit of live, small-business conventions and conferences that is not easily duplicated is the opportunity for in-person networking. When you attend a convention or live conference event, you have access to other attendees who are often your peers, colleagues and even competitors.

Yes, you can discover a lot of information about your competitors at conventions and conferences you’re attending. These small-business conference may be focused on information and training that will help you improve your business, marketing strategies and products and services – but don’t forget that your competition may also be attending those same conferences for the same reasons you are attending. Take some time at a convention to see who your competitors are and gather information research about them that might give you a competitive edge or a marketing advantage.

If you have a product or service that may benefit others who are attending the trade show or convention, you may want to take a booth space and invite other participants to possibly become your customers. Often the trade show area of the convention is open only between the various conferences and workshops, to give you a chance to attend those workshops and still be able to have some time to have face-to-face opportunities with those attendees that could be customers or even future partners.

If there is not a trade association or closely related professional group in your market, you should explore the opportunity of starting one or at least start an informal group of people from your industry and try to have a few seminars or conferences of your own. We will blog more about that in the coming days.