During the COVID19 pandemic, we have made a shift to primarily virtual- and hybrid-work worlds.  With these new working environments, and with the proliferation and the ease in attending virtual conferences, you may be wondering if you will ever go back to in-person events. Is it even worth it anymore? (After all, we’ve nearly eliminated the waste of driving back and forth to an office!)

But don’t get too comfortable in your home office. It’s time to brush the dust off that suit jacket. Here are four reasons an in-person, professional conference will accelerate your improvement, right now.

Bury the burn-out

It is time to re-energize ourselves. Workplace stress costs businesses $125 to $190 billion per year. That stress directly impacts your own health. And furthermore, all of that stress has continued to snowball over the past year to year and a half. With so many professionals working from home, we’ve lost the barrier between work and play. The work doesn’t seem to stop because t’s too easy to just keep working into the evening hours or to log back online for another hour to two of work.

It is time for a much-needed mental break. Getting out of the office, changing your environment, and going on a mission to seek support and education will help you come back to the workplace rejuvenated. This change of pace and change of location can jump-start your energy.

Creating lasting connections

A lack of connections has even been linked with higher employee turnover as people feel less of a shared identity with their employer. – Forbes

continuous improvement team

Recent Yale research suggests both our personal and professional networks have shrunk by around 16% during COVID. As a result, we may be missing out on new ideas, reducing our career advancement, and lacking support we need to make an impact at the office.

In a world of virtual meetings, it is wonderfully refreshing to be able to build relationships with your peers in person.  Those face-to-face connections result in long-lasting, supportive professional connections. You truly cannot replace the power and the magic of interacting face-to-face.  Going to an in-person conference is a great way to refresh those networks and relationships, which are incredible ways for you to grow your own business opportunities and to help others.

Inspiring ideas

The average impact for a cost-saving improvement idea is $31,043. And that’s just in the first year. Many improvement ideas result in improved customer satisfaction, increased employee engagement or signficant time savings for the company.

Consequently, implementing just one new idea discovered at an event can provide a well over a 100x ROI.  And think about it, what other projects are you doing that have that kind of return on your investment?  After attending an in-person conference, you will certainly return with more than just one new improvement idea. Likely, you’ll walk away with more ideas than you can implement this year.

The average impact of a cost saving idea is $31,043 in its first year of implementation. – KaiNexus

Enhancing the value of virtual networking

At Continuous Improvement International, we do things differently.  When people come to our conferences, we create an environment that results in numerous new connections. But then we create a virtual avenue to continue to engage with those connections long after that conference ends. Once you have made those connections in person, it is so much easier to maintain them in a virtual environment.

Plus, at CII we introduce an accountability pathway to guide you through implementing those new ideas you just formulated at the conference to improve your business.  So many times we leave a conference bounding with energy and enthusiasm, but quickly lose momentum because we lack a plan and support to make our ideas come to life.

Plus, we alternate in-person and virtual events duing the year so you are truly getting the best of both worlds.

These are four powerful reasons why you should put an in-person conference on your calendar for this year.  Join us for one of our upcoming events.  We look forward to meeting you in person!

Ready for more? We think you’ll also love this article: Falling Out Of Love With Continuous Improvement

Author: Allison Greco

Author: Allison Greco

Founder, CII

I created my foundation with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and MBA from the University of Oklahoma. Over the past decade, I have held Continuous and Process Improvement roles for Black Hills Energy, Williams, the US Air Force and BNSF Railway. I’ve started new CI programs and reinvigorated stale ones. Along the way I earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and became a licensed Professional Engineer.