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This article was published on February 9, 2016

6 reasons why it’s as relevant as ever to attend conferences in 2016

6 reasons why it’s as relevant as ever to attend conferences in 2016
Brian de Graft
Story by

Brian de Graft

Junior Marketer

Brian is a Junior Marketer on The Next Web’s Events team. He writes articles and social media posts for our conferences, plus other text-rel Brian is a Junior Marketer on The Next Web’s Events team. He writes articles and social media posts for our conferences, plus other text-related bits and bobs.

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With an abundance of blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos and webinars at our fingertips, why spend precious time and money on going to conferences? I mean soon we’ll all be sitting half naked on our couch with VR headsets on, ready to take on the tech world… right?

Wrong. Even in 2016, physically going to conferences is more relevant than ever, and this blogpost is here to tell you, in the form of a short but sweet list, why you too should book those tickets.



  1. A change of scenery

Being stuck in the same environment with the same desk, routine and people can have a detrimental effect on your productivity and creativity, and leave you stuck in a rut.

Nothing breathes new life into your career like travelling to a new place to experience new surroundings, cultures and inspiring people. Cure your wanderlust and get those creative juices flowing again!


  1. Networking

While it’s true that technology can bring people from other ends of the globe closer together (email, Skype, Facetime, Slack), nothing beats a real life, face-to face meet up; an email is fine, a phone call is better, a handshake is ideal. Meet new and old friends, catch up with old acquaintances, seal the deal that was too important for a mere email. Show engagement by being present – you’re representing yourself and your company, so make invaluable connections and leave a lasting impression.

And it’s not just about you meeting the right people – it’s also about the right people meeting you. Perhaps the next partnership is one that you hadn’t even considered, and being approached by the right people could be the best thing you never expected. These things do happen, but not if you’re not out there mingling.



  1. Learn something new in your Field

Of course, one of the main reasons for attending conferences is to be among the first to hear the best in your field deliver inspiring talks about the newest industry trends and developments; indispensable knowledge to take away and apply to your own business.

If there’s something specific that you want to know, there are many opportunities for you to get the answers you seek, whether it’s during a Q&A with a speaker or you stumble across someone useful on the conference ground. Also, there’ll often be exhibitors and startup desks that will give you a lay of the land of your field and a good idea of what companies to look out for in the future.

At TNW Conference, for example, we offer the most promising startups the exposure and connections they deserve with our Boost and Bootstrap programs.

  1. Learn something new outside your field

Besides gaining knowledge about the latest developments within your own field, exploring uncharted territory may also prove extremely rewarding. Broaden your horizons and gain an eclectic overview of what’s shaping our future.

Who knows – you might find the solution to a problem or the inspiration for your next big venture in an area you least expect it.

 5. Content

If you or your company like to keep a readership up-to-date by covering developments or providing useful info about your field (by maintaining a social media presence, for example), a conference can be a content goldmine.

Liveblog about a speaker’s talk, tweet about the trends you’re noticing, snapchat yourself with your idol – benefit from the conference buzz and join the conversation.


  1. Have fun!

You’ll mainly be going to a conference to gain knowledge and network, but who said an event can’t be informative and enjoyable?

Apart from captivating, and often humorous, talks (did you hear that goat man will be speaking at TNW Europe?), many conferences offer fun parties, side events, things to try out and other tomfoolery (yes, we played cow dung bingo in 2012). Travelling to a beautiful city, meeting inspiring people, boosting your career and having a laugh along the way doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world now, does it?


We hope to have convinced you that attending conferences is the right thing to do. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, we have a pretty good suggestion.

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