Working for myself, by myself most days, it is often a welcome change to visit clients, meet with colleagues, and attend industry events.
Whether I am attending an event as a speaker or an attendee, I appreciate the change in venue and routine. Events can be a great way to broaden my knowledge of some aspect of the direct marketing/database management industry, expose me to a new subject or technology, introduce me to vendors and industry leaders, and keep in touch with contacts.
I consider a meeting worthwhile if I end up with 3 takeaways. These can be innovative ideas, learning something new, or starting a business relationship with one new person.
Networking is a needed but sometimes dreaded part of these meetings. It is not easy for me to introduce myself to others, but I think other people have similar feelings. However, events are an excellent time to meet potential clients or have open dialogue with colleagues. I have made some lasting acquaintances over a glass of wine, who I can now bounce ideas off of.
So step out from behind your desk, swallow those nerves, and go learn and interact a little. It can truly help your career. And hopefully you might have a bit of fun.
The journey continues.