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Should You Attend Conferences Remotely or In Person?

by Techies Guardian
Should You Attend Conferences Remotely or In Person_

Conference Attendance: Is Remote or In Person Better?

For decades, industry conferences have been among the most promising events for economic development and innovation. Attendance at such a gathering gives you an opportunity to meet new people, explain to others what you’re doing, learn from mentors and competitors, and even advertise and sell what your business has to offer.

But modern conferences have begun to change. Especially since the covid pandemic, conference attendees often have the option of attending in person or remotely … so which should you choose?

The Modern Conference

If you look at upcoming conferences for almost any industry, from fleet management to commercial boating, you’re likely to find a mix of meetings that are utterly remote, exclusively in person, or hybrid. Gatherings that are held entirely in person or entirely remote present a stark choice.

But suppose the conference is a hybrid that offers you a choice, which method of attendance is best? As you would expect, each has its advantages.

Advantages of Remote Attendance

Below are some of the benefits of remote attendance.

  • Total flexibility. Some people appreciate the flexibility of attending a conference remotely. If you only care to show up for a single seminar, you may. If you want to attend the conference while simultaneously remaining available to handle matters at home, or in a coworking space, even in your physical office, you may do that too. This also offers the potential to attend conferences all over the world, without having to worry about travel or logistics. And if you feel the urge to leave early, that’s no big deal.
  • Cost savings. In-person assemblies can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per attendant, and even more when you factor in ancillary expenses such as travel, lodging, food, and entertainment. Attending a conference remotely will still cost some money, but it’s typically going to amount to a lot less. If you’re interested in keeping your business operational on a tight budget, or just don’t feel like attending in person is worth it, this presents an attractive alternative.
  • Multitasking potential. When you attend in person, you’ll usually have to treat working the conference as a primary goal. But if you attend a gathering remotely, you can multitask. This isn’t necessarily going to be the most productive approach, of course, but it can keep you productive with your normal workflow while also exposing you to worthwhile conference input.
  • Increased total reach. When an event is presented remotely, or in a hybrid environment, it tends to enjoy higher attendance. People from all over the world may participate if remote attendance is offered as an option. Accordingly, if you show up remotely that could enable you to reach more people in more places.
  • Accommodation for introverts. Some people are not comfortable participating in a conference in person. They may suffer from social anxiety, or simply prefer quieter, more isolated environments. Remote attendance caters to introverts and shy individuals.

The Benefits of In-Person Attendance

Here we list the attractive benefits of in-person attendance.

  • More networking. One of the reasons conferences are so popular is that they lend themselves to networking – in other words, they give you an opportunity to meet more colleagues. It’s certainly possible to network if you attend a conference remotely, but you can’t seriously argue with the fact that in-person attendance makes it easier to forge new connections.
  • Freebies and goodies. Many enjoy the fact that most conferences include access to freebies, goodies, and giveaways. If you walk around with a tote bag, you’ll probably fill it with promotional products and samples. You won’t have access to these if you only attend remotely.
  • Hands-on evaluations and demos. In-person attendance also gives you the opportunity to make hands-on evaluations. You can check items out yourself. Watching a streamed video of a demonstration is less of a learning experience than participating in the demo yourself. If you’re interested in learning about the latest innovations, this is an undeniable advantage.
  • Advertising and sales. Attending a conference in person is likely more effective for advertising and sales. You can meet more people and form closer bonds with them by interacting with them in person. If you sponsor a display booth at the event, you’ll reach a wider audience.
  • An excuse to travel. Though it may not be a great argument from a purely business perspective, in-person attendance does give you a great excuse to see more of the country – or the world.

Making the Right Choice

There is no such thing as a single correct choice. The best course for your situation will depend on your industry, the conference, your operation, and your personality.

Take the time to evaluate your goals and preferences before deciding to attend and how, and make a list of the pros and cons for in-person and remote attendance before you take the plunge.

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