It seems like a weekly occurrence that I hear about marketing conferences that I want to attend or send my team at Likeable Local to. The ability to get amazing, affordable insights on how to grow your business with digital marketing today is truly incredible.

But, while may of these conferences themselves are affordable, getting there is not. And, the opportunity cost of leaving work, your family, and maybe even your hometown can make attending not worth it. An online conference can be a great alternative.

Recently, some amazing conferences have been popping up that are online based, offering a great solution to accessing top notch conference sessions from the comfort of…your couch! One coming up this week that I’m particularly excited about (and I think you should be too!) is the LinkedIn Success Summit, which I’m keynoting.

I love the ideas of online conferences, so I asked my friend Liam Austin, founder of the LinkedIn Success Summit, to share 5 advantages of attending an online conference. This is what Liam shared, as the five ways to benefit from online conferences:

1) Avoid travel costs

If you go to a physical conference it usually requires travel, accommodation, food and drink expenses which can add up to thousands of dollars. Then you have to factor in the cost of registration for the event itself. With an online conference, you can avoid all the costs of travel and just pay the registration fee. If you are a small business or entrepreneur just starting out, this is a great option.

#2 Get anytime access

Missing the start of a session because you’re late or having to leave early to catch your plane doesn’t matter when you have paid for a ticket to an online conference. You get access to a members area where you can watch and re-watch sessions long after the event has finished. So, you can take your time to absorb all the information, pause, rewind and take notes. Plus, with an online conference, you can avoid the typical issue of having two of your favorite sessions happen at the same time and having to choose one. No more rushing off to catch the end of another session, no confusing maps to navigate, no one trying to usher you into their stand when you don’t want to be there.

#3 Meet a global audience

Connect with a larger and more international audience, many whom you’d never be able to meet at a physical event. The wide range of perspectives that come up during question time may open up possibilities you didn’t see were there before.

#4 Help the Environment

Let’s face it, there is so much waste at physical events. Think of the emissions from your plane and taxi, the cleaning of your room, and all the materials in the printed brochures and trinkets. By staying at home, you can watch online and download any brochures as PDFs.
#5 Connect with potential clients

Instead of unknown faces rushing through the hallways and again spending way too long speaking to that annoying person, you can quickly scan lists of names and connect with multiple people instantly. You can even dive deeper while you are online to investigate a person as you are chatting with them. This can help you gain insights on the person to support your effort in building a relationship with this potential customer.

Some people may say that in person events have face-to-face networking opportunities that you just can’t get online. That’s true! However, how targeted is that networking? Could you be more effective networking with other attendees online, through social media and chat?
If productivity is important to you, next time you think about going to a conference, think online!

Interested in the LinkedIn Success Summit and learning how to generate leads, sales and profit from LinkedIn? Grab your free ticket along with an informative eBook on growing your biz with LinkedIn here!