Today's business is fast paced. Time is limited and precious, and there is always a long task list to accomplish. So why would you take three or four hours of your valuable time to attend a seminar?Well, like any good business person worth their salt, let's examine the Return on Investment (ROI). Obviously the topic has to have some relevance to your business:
- Is there a way my company can save money?
- Will it improve a process?
- Will it provide potential insight to solve a problem?
- Will it provide valuable knowledge to move a project along?
- Is the topic one that cannot easily be ignored? (compliance issues come to mind)
As a seminar speaker myself, I am sure these are questions a potential participant may be pondering as they contemplate the decision to attend or not.I know you're probably thinking, "Can't I just find this on the internet?" Depending on what you are looking for and the possible complexity of the information, there is a chance that there is no need to leave the comfort of your office. Before we make this decision, let's take a look at some of the potential benefits you might receive from attending a seminar in person.
- Avoiding Possible Penalties By Being Compliant: Customs and other government departments emphasize the importance of compliance. This is monitored through increased enforcement and could result in monetary penalties to the importer. One of the most important reasons to attend a seminar is the knowledge and guidance you will receive from the presenters with regards to the steps your organization will need to take to become more compliant with government agencies. Additionally, these educational seminars will provide you with insight on ever-changing government regulations.
- An Avenue For Training or Knowledge Refreshment: This could be training for someone in a new role, training for a new employee, or training for you. The benefit of a seminar is the ability to obtain some product specific knowledge in a short period of time. Night school courses are requisite for more in depth subject learning but often you need something that is less intensive but still provides what you need. Half or full day seminars are also an excellent way to get a quick update. In our industry, we deal with Customs and other government agencies, so the regulations are always changing. Quite often we have repeat attendees who regularly register on an annual or bi-annual basis. Part of our Trade Compliance Seminar Schedule covers general overviews of importing or exporting, but we also offer training on specific subjects (the North American Free Trade Agreement or the H.S. Tariff & Classification), thus providing an excellent opportunity for companies to utilize as a training tool for a reasonable cost and time commitment.
- Access to Product Experts: A well designed seminar should include adequate time for audience participation or a valid opportunity at the conclusion so you can get answers to your questions. I think we all agree that sometimes the best experiences occur when there are excellent inquiries that promote further ideas and discussion (...particularly when you thought you were the only one with THAT challenge). While webinars usually also offer a Q&A session, the benefit of a live seminar is the chance to personally speak to the presenter(s) or other subject matter experts.
- Networking: A seminar allows you to network with other people. What an excellent opportunity if you are one of these people tied to your desk; a great time to practice the art of face to face communication! (...which I personally think is becoming a lost art in this electronic age). Whenever I get out and meet new people, I always come away with increased knowledge and understanding. Perhaps you'll encounter a person who had a similar business problem to yours, or someone who can share their own experience on a certain issue and provide you with valuable insight. A quote from an attendee at one of our recent Trade Compliance Seminars said "it's always interesting to have an informal conversation with compliance people from other industries."
Which brings up another great point...if there are a lot of people like you burrowed away in your office, where else would you have a chance to rub shoulders with people of similar business interests? Hopefully this has inspired you to journey outside the office walls. And as a bonus... you might actually have some fun!To register for one of our Trade Compliance Seminars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.