Internet conferences, are they worth it?

There is no shortage of different conference invitations clogging up our email and social media inboxes. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff and find key events that give you not only the most bang for your hard earned bucks, but also worthy of your valuable time?

In this article Neroli Schutt (PeSA Internet Conference Manager) discusses why as an attendee you might want to attend an internet conference, she also discusses the upcoming PeSA conference and how that stacks up in comparison.

Why attend any conference at all?

This is a clear case for working ON, not just IN your business. Taking time away from your office to listen to new ideas, construct better strategies and meet like minded people who can give you renewed motivation, deliver a clearer focus and best of all, teach you practical ways to enhance your business.

So once you’ve committed to working on your business, what else should you look for in a conference?

Content is KING:

We’ve all heard this before, and how true it is! Ask yourself, who are the keynotes speakers? Do they have solid backgrounds in successful online businesses? Do the speakers offer you true HOW TOs rather than merely theoretical strategies for you to deploy immediately on your return to work? Is there a mixture of content for a broad range of business sizes? This is particularly important as, no matter what your current turnover is, some of the best learning points can be found from similar businesses of differing sizes. For example: Big business can show you how to grow and smaller businesses may be able to offer simple/cost effective solutions to universal issues.

At PeSA we have over 60 content sessions which are divided into five content streams. PeSA Internet Conference is focused on practicality – the HOW to sell online, not the THEORY of selling online. The people behind Internet Conference are experienced online sellers, ensuring that all Conference content is highly relevant to those who are in the business of online retailing.

Whilst we share some case studies and market data, the content is focused on helping people learn and immediately apply what they’ve learned to their business. This is not a future focused/trends conference (although some of this is covered) – it is what’s happening NOW in the online retailer environment. Plus the speakers include local online heavyweights like Ruslan Kogan, Gabby Leibovich and many more.

Sometimes, it’s who you know…

Look for events that have networking opportunities – a lot of networking opportunities.

Running an online business can be isolating. The chances are that no matter what issue you’ve ever faced in business, someone else has been there too.  Attending a conference will not only give you the chance to connect with like minded people, but also the ability to share business experiences and build relationships that give you a place to turn to when future issues arise.

We’ve learnt that delegates want as many networking opportunities as possible to connect and share experiences with fellow delegates. In our future conference, we’re hosting three dedicated social networking events and the opportunity to network at a every break!

Look for events with a solid heritage

How long has the conference of your choice been running? Has it grown each year? Can you access customer feedback from previous years?  But be careful – don’t confuse a long history with growth and development .

PeSA Internet Conference is an established event with a six year history. Every year we survey delegates and learn about their Internet Conference experience. We always get great feedback, but there’s always room to improve! For example see here just four things we’ve changed for 2012 in response to feedback received in 2011.

Don’t wait too long to register

As a conference organiser, I should be saying book as late as possible! But by taking advantage of “Earlybird” rates (most if not all conferences will have some sort of discount at the beginning of their marketing campaign), you can save yourself some serious  money. Why pay full price if you don’t have to? The savings could be enough to get you to the event!

About PeSA
PeSA Internet Conference is run by the Professional Ecommerce & eBay Sellers Alliance, this year they are hosting their sixth annual ecommerce conference which is due to run on the Gold Coast 30th May-1st June 2012. Check out their future conference and don’t forget you could enjoy their special early bird rate!

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