Inspiring leadership, a great work culture, a clear vision, effective communication, ongoing professional development, exceptional customer service, long-term strategic planning, adapting to change and team harmony are probably on your list.
But is a regular staff conference on your list?
A regular staff conference can be just as valuable as ‘all of the above’ if planned and delivered with purpose.
You may call a staff conference something else like an internal company conference, staff retreat or annual planning day. Whatever you call this event, it is simply a coming together of many or all of your staff for planning, development, information sharing and team building.
So why is internal conferencing important for companies in 2017?
The overriding factor why a staff conference can be so valuable is it creates an ‘environment’ conducive to leadership, planning, professional development and team building.
It gets all staff together at the same time and for the same purpose without the distraction of their normal workplace and duties. How often is that possible in the day-to-day operation of your business?
Yes, it takes your team away from their core operational functions and will cost you money in conference planning and operational time lost.
However, it will create so much more value over the long term for your company culture in having staff that are informed, engaged, educated and inspired.
Now let me come back to my statement “why a staff conference can be so valuable is it creates an ‘environment’ conducive to leadership, planning, professional development and team building”.
Staging a regular internal conference is a great way for company leaders to outline or reinforce the vision of the company and the goals and objectives for the upcoming business period.
This provides the most effective communication to staff as everyone is receiving the information in the same way at the same time.
It also enables the leader to deliver the information in the most engaging and inspiring fashion especially being able to do it face-to-face.
These conferences are ideal opportunities to conduct long-term or strategic planning.
Everyone is focused. Being away from the office can often extract creativity. And staff can be split into teams for greater efficiencies and idea generation.
The actual conference may be used to create a new company vision or for goal setting too which enables staff to be even more involved and engaged in the future of the business.
3. Professional Development
Another important element for a company conference is professional development, training and education.
Once again with everyone together in the one place at the one time, it provides an ideal environment to update them on industry changes, developments and trends.
They can also be split into groups for specific corporate training workshops to their functional area or developmental needs.
4. Team Building
My fourth reason why a staff conference or event is so important is the opportunity for team building.
The whole event or part of the event can be a reward for your staff for their prior contribution or even dovetail into a social event.
Team building activities are perfect for this as they can be tailored for as little or as long as you like, they are fun and they provide a recreational means of internal networking.
So just to wrap up, internal conferences are vital to schedule into your company calendar in 2017 as they provide an environment of leadership, planning, professional development and team building.
Whether you are conference planning in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington or elsewhere in New Zealand, I recommend that your company conference features all of these elements to maximise the time that you have all your staff together.
For some further reading, here is an international article also discussing the importance of staging a company conference.
Rachael Ziccone, Conference & Events Manager, Corporate Challenge Events