Why attend conferences?

That's a pretty darn good question.  Someone asked me recently why I choose to invest in conferences like Social Media Marketing World each year.  After all, the actual cost of attending a conference is not small when you consider the airfare, hotel and conference registration.

But more than the actual cost is the opportunity cost.  For me personally, spending days at a conference carries the cost of not doing other things.  This week, I'll be falling behind on my podcast, taking time off my day job and missing my daughter's soccer game all so I can participate in Social Media Marketing World.

So why attend conferences?

As it happens, I have five very clear reasons for investing (that's how I see it) in conferences, and Social Media Marketing World is at the top of my “must attend” list.

Also in this episode, I discuss how DropBox saved me last week and offer a few tips on using DropBox.  If you're not using DropBox, you might want to give it another look.  Not only that, I take a look at this quote commonly attributed to John Wesley that he probably never said:

I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.

Show Notes


1. “Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” – This quote is attributed to John Wesley but often misquoted. There is also a significant amount of debate among legitimate historians if he really said it, but whatever the case is, I love this for marketing. Whoever said this quote, our enthusiasm should have this same level of intensity. When people sense this, they will be attracted to your brand, to your message and will help you rise above everyone else. Note though that passion is not enough, it should also be overlain with purpose. You may have passion but it may not be suitable for business so go for sustainable interest as there will be a lot more opportunity for you to be successful.

2. Dropbox is a cloud synching service where any file you put in Dropbox will appear in any other system that you installed Dropbox on. Here are tips of how you can get the most out of Dropbox:

• You can get a basic account with 2GB worth of space but you can refer Dropbox to your friends and every sign up will give you additional 500MB. A cool way to start!
• If you delete a file, Dropbox keeps it for 30 days. You can restore files and folders back if you realize you still need them.
• You can set Dropbox to automatically seek out and upload photos from your mobile. Awesome!
• Dropbox offers two-step verification so turn this on for extra security.
• Dropbox is the perfect solution for sharing monster files.
• You can turn on the Selective Synch feature so you can choose the directories or devices that you want to synch it with.
• A lot of cross platform applications that exist both on Android, Mac or PC shares settings with Dropbox.

3. Why am I going to Social Media Marketing World? It’s expensive so what’s the point? Here is a list of why I bother:

• It is an opportunity for me to reconnect with people that I have met over the last 10 years both online and in real life. This is something that I really enjoy so this is fulfilling for me. For my Mastermind group, this is the one time every week that we can all be physical together so I highly value this.
• It gives me an opportunity to meet new people and add them to my list of friends. Getting this opportunity and exposure to people I do not usually rub elbows with is very rewarding.
• There is an enormous amount of content in this conference. The number of ideas that I come out with is amazing.
• I am privileged that I can help and give answers. I have given a talk, hosted a panel and led sessions. This opens up opportunities and gave me the chance to say thanks.
• It’s a heck lot of fun! It’s the best ran conference I have been to. It’s amazing and the experience is fantastic.

In the mean time, here is a sample of what I was talking about with regard to why I choose to attend conferences.  Here's a fun picture from Social Media Marketing World.  In the picture, Pat Flynn took me and Chris Ducker on a ride in his Tesla.  We tried out “insane mode” — it's really fast.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

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Why Attend Conferences Episode Transcript

I hope you’re having a fantastic day. I have been getting a lot of stuff done because I am about to leave town, I’m headed to Social Media Marketing World in a few hours. I have an early morning flight. I’ll be out there having fun at the conference, doing a lot of stuff, learning a lot of stuff, helping run the podcast track out there. I’m very excited.

If you are in the neighborhood while you’re listening to this and you’re out there, give me a shout out on Twitter @LateNightIM. I’ll be on Twitter all week while I’m out there and I would love to hear from you.

In the process of getting everything together this week I did find time to stick my head in a church at some point and I heard this quote that is often attributed to John Wesley. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not John Wesley ever said this. If you’re not familiar with church history, John Wesley is basically the guy who helped start the Methodist church, very famous guy and a very smart guy.

(Episode 132 Transcript Continued…)


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