February 01, 2024

5 Reasons Why In-person Conferences Are Better

Quality conferences are essential for professionals who want to stay up to date with trends, connect with peers and learn collectively. For suppliers and advisors, conferences are a time and cost effective tool for showcasing their solutions to the right audience and connect with prospects. 
Over a short period of time, the world of conferences changed dramatically. Driven by social distancing, in-person conferences disappeared entirely and were replaced by virtual conferences. At ThinkLinkers, we had to adapt fast, and although we had no experience with virtual events, we ended up running one of the most iconic Data Management online conferences for 6 times, 
However, the moment we could run again in-person conferences, we jumped at the opportunity to get back to our roots. 
Don't get us wrong, we enjoyed virtual conferences, as they have their own value beyond being a temporary substitution of "real" in-person conferences, but there are some things in which in-person conferences have an edge. 
Let's delve into 5 reasons why in-person conferences hold an irreplaceable allure, even in an increasingly digital world.

1. Human connection is irreplaceable

In an era dominated by AI, screens and pixels, there's an undeniable longing for genuine, face-to-face interactions. Call us old-school, but the warmth of a handshake, the sincerity of eye contact – these nuances of human connection breathe life into professional relationships. Whether it's bonding over shared experiences, exchanging business cards, or simply engaging in casual banter, the connections forged in person lay the groundwork for future collaborations and friendships. And although we are thankful to have the opportunity to connect virtually with the whole world, good-old traditional human connection is irreplaceable.


2. Collaborative learning

Take a topic, break it down, debate over it in person using pen and paper, or a whiteboard to combine experiences and lessons learned, and together find a solution to advance collectively. It's about the spontaneous exchange of ideas, the spirited debates in breakout sessions, and the collective wisdom gleaned from diverse perspectives. Attendees find themselves immersed in a rich tapestry of knowledge, where every interaction is an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether it's sharing personal anecdotes, brainstorming solutions to common challenges, or gaining fresh insights from industry peers, the collaborative spirit of in-person conferences fuels a culture of continuous learning and innovation.


3. Concentrated value

Imagine this: 50-60 like-minded people, the most crucial data management topics, confined in a room for 2 days.
No distractions, just focused value. While a conference could be seen as a week off from your “real job”, it offers concentrated value which you would hardly get if distracted and remote. 
With dedicated blocks of time carved out for keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, participants can dive deep into topics of interest without distraction. It's a rare opportunity to step away from the daily grind, recharge the mental batteries, and emerge revitalized with newfound insights and inspiration.

4. Blurring the line between the speakers and participants

Listening to a speaker passively for hours can still be relatively valuable, but we will hardly be able to make the content relevant to us if we don’t ask questions that link the content to our specific context and situation. One of the hallmarks of in-person conferences is the opportunity to engage directly with industry experts and thought leaders. Whether it's during Q&A sessions following a keynote address or over coffee during a networking break, attendees have unparalleled access to speakers who are at the forefront of their field. These interactions transcend the traditional boundaries of teacher and student, fostering a dynamic exchange where questions are welcomed, ideas are challenged, and knowledge is shared openly. For attendees, it's a chance to glean insights from the very individuals shaping the future of their industry, forging connections that extend far beyond the confines of the conference venue.


5. Superior interaction
Is it the same to chat over imessage or to speak in person over a coffee? Are 10000 followers on social media the same as having 10 good friends? You know the answer. Real connections are built in person, in an environment that facilitates sharing and networking.

In-person conferences require more commitment on your end, but so do all valuable things in life. They might cost more as well, but when you are choosing a conference that gives you the 5 points above, you are certain to get incredible value and build connections in real life that are set to last. 

For suppliers of services and solutions, a quality conference is not just a bunch of leads to pump into your CRM, but an opportunity to learn what the market needs, gather questions and comments, and be there as a helper while connecting with potential customers. All of that, granted that it’s not a 2000 people conference with 20 of your competitors peddling business cards. In an increasingly interconnected world, these personal connections serve as a source of support, inspiration, and camaraderie, enriching both our personal and professional lives.

So, if you're seeking an immersive experience filled with learning, networking, and the potential for lifelong friendships, consider joining us at our next Data Management ThinkLab in Prague. We promise it will be an experience to remember!

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9th Data Management ThinkLab on April 18-19, 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic, our in-person event for discerning Data Management professionals.