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Last week I had the pleasure of attending (and presenting at) the Grant Professionals Association Annual Conference in St. Louis. You can check out my amazing view from the room.

While going to industry focused conference can be hectic, time consuming, and exhausting, they also serve as amazing growth opportunities (both personally and professionally). Here is why I think these types of conferences are so rewarding.

Professional Development – When are you ever in the same room with people who care as deeply about the same subject matter?! Take advantage to learn something new from the plethora of sessions that are offered – we can all benefit from skill enhancement.

Networking – Connect with new and old friends and colleagues. Given this virtual working environment, we are often scattered across the globe and it is great to have people in one room to reconnect.

Opportunities – There are always exhibitors, sponsors and colleagues who may be able to provide support, feedback, or even potential business development opportunities at such conferences. It is always important to carry a stack of business cards – they serve as your best resource!

Learning Credits – You can often earn valuable learning credits towards certifications that need to be maintained. These credits can ensure you remain active and do not have to seek out other means to maintain your credential(s).

Fun Travel – I try to take advantage of at least one local activity/mainstay when I travel. This time it was going to the top of the St. Louis Arch and eating at Pappy’s (which was amazing barbeque).

The next GPA Conference will be in Atlanta – November 2016. Will I see you there?

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