Finding ways to learn these days is easy. Whether you prefer podcasts, webinars, blogs, or books, it seems that the channels are endless.

So if we have so much information at the tips of our fingers — often for free — why are people still paying to attend conferences?

The answer is quite simple. People remain loyal to conferences because they offer so much value in terms of personal and professional development.

Although books are loaded with interesting facts and podcasts tell engaging stories, neither can provide the complete immersion into a topic the way a conference can.

By attending conferences, you’ll invest in yourself and your career in many ways:

You’ll learn from inspirational and educational talks

One of the first things people look at when it comes to conference details is the speaker lineup. These speakers are chosen for a reason – they’re brilliant.

By sitting in on their talks, you’ll gather incredible insights into new tactics, best practices, and ideas for implementing innovative changes.

And the best part? You’ll be buzzing with inspiration when you leave.

You’ll gain hands-on experience through workshops

More and more, we’re seeing conferences incorporate workshops and sessions into their schedules. Although some people may find these to be outside of their comfort zone, they’re worth it!

Taking information from the conference and applying it through hands-on practice will equip you to confidently implement it once you’re back at work.

You’ll network among knowledgeable peers

Conferences are gatherings of people eager to learn. As such, they’re the perfect chance to create new connections with like-minded people.

Whether the schedule has a networking-specific time slot, or you find time on your own watch to grab coffee with colleagues — you can be sure that the opportunity to network will present itself.

Take advantage of it! Mutually beneficial relationships can form out of these new connections.

You’ll learn about new tools & technologies

Don’t fear bustling exhibit halls, embrace them!

They’re the place to discover new tools that you can use to improve processes or even make big changes. Plus, staying up-to-date on the latest trends will help your institution stay relevant and competitive.

All in all, conferences provide a multi-faceted approach to learning that you shouldn’t overlook or dismiss.

Despite the cost to attend, you’ll leave pleased with all new ideas, tools, and connections you’ve acquired. You’ll leave ready to solve pressing problems and make important changes. And, in my opinion, you’ll leave with more development than you ever could’ve gotten from any book or podcast alone.

I want to go but where do I start?

If you’ve started planning for this year’s admissions conferences, you’ve probably noticed one thing – there’s a lot of them!

Although it’s always nice to have options, it can be onerous when it comes time to narrow them down.

To help out, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you visualize the admissions conferences being offered in 2019.comprehensive guide to the admissions conferences