It’s the day before a major conference and you’re so excited to see that incredible keynote speaker that’s been advertised for months. You are positive that each life-changing word will bring you one step closer to meeting all your organizational goals. During the conference, there are binders full of helpful material and stories shared from colleagues who have implemented successful program after successful program. When you return to your desk the next week, you are revved up to implement all these incredible changes. But what happens when you actually try to tailor these ideas to fit your organization?
Major conferences with impressive headliners absolutely have their place in professional development. The networking is usually very worthwhile and the takeaways are often geared to a full program overhaul for major change. Plus, there is a lot to be said for the excitement and refresh that is felt after returning from one.
But what if you want to talk to people who really get it? People who know the struggles you’re having getting your lapsed donors to reinstate and mend relationships that your former Development Director never prioritized? Will this package resonate with your Catholic donor base? Do animal-lovers like your organization’s audience feel compelled to give to your mission?
There are huge benefits to attending a smaller niche conference. With fewer attendees, you’re able to actually talk to the industry experts who are presenting. In networking situations, contacts are more targeted to your area of business. The FAQs are in fact frequently asked in your organization. All of this, and your CFO will be applauding your financial savvy as these conferences are typically a fraction of the cost of their major national counterparts.
So where are these elusive niche conferences hiding out? I’m so glad you asked.
Fundraising Success Magazine keeps a log of tons of conferences—from huge national heavy hitters to smaller targeted conferences. This is a great resource if you don’t know where to begin. Click here to learn more.
If your organization is passionate about spreading your good news, it is a major benefit to have likeminded peers with whom you can share ideas. The NCDC is a wealth of knowledge on the topic and have a conference on October 5th.
If you’re looking for insight into how your budget next year is going to be affected by postage costs, the National Postal Forum publishes a National Calendar of Events. Get the inside scoop by checking it out.
What about you? We would love to hear your ideas about some worthwhile conferences in your field!