Most of us probably associate Las Vegas – Sin City and the home of The Hangover – with gambling, drinking, and other types of less-than-savoury behaviour. But in recent times the international home of hedonism has taken on another, contrasting mantle – conference and convention capital. On any given day, professionals will be congregating in one of the city’s purpose-built centres (and/or hotels) to up-skill, network, and learn – and, perhaps, to engage in some relaxation and fun, too.

Australia is also, increasingly, going conference-crazy. Every year, an inordinate amount of profession-based conferences, conventions, and trade shows are held around the country. Such is the popularity – and lucrativeness – of these events in Australia, that the NSW Government is in the process of demolishing Sydney’s Entertainment Centre, which will be replaced by one of the world’s largest convention centres.

For individuals looking to increase their job prospects, conferences can be incredibly beneficial, both profesionally and personally.

Networking

Conferences and conventions basically function as a congregation of all the key players from a given industry. They’re the perfect opportunity to meet new and influential people who work in the same area as you – contacts that could potentially be leveraged in the future for any number of reasons. Let’s take, for example, the upcoming CAUTHE Conference to be hosted in Brisbane early next year. The event focuses on the hospitality and tourism industries, and will focus on key trends and changes. Attending the event will be academics, head honchos, execs and workers, all of whom could be key contacts for individuals working in those industries at some point. Attending and participating in such events will also help individuals get their name out there – a process which could prove invaluable when applying for jobs in the industry.

Up-skilling

Learning is an ongoing process, and within any given industry large-scale meetups like conferences are a key element of professional improvement. More often than not, conventions and conferences will host an impressive program of activities, demonstrations, workshops, and credentialed and knowledgeable keynote speakers. These events will help keep you up-to-date with the latest changes and innovations within your industry, ensuring that you avoid professional stagnation. The CAUTHE Conference, for example, will host two key academic speakers, both of whom have conducted research into the trends effecting the tourism and hospitality industries at present. Given the extensive programs, most of these industry meetups take place over a number of days, meaning that you’ll need to look in to some form of accommodation. Those attending the CAUTHE Conference, for example, will need to look for hotels in Brisbane.

Team bonding

In addition to learning and making connections, conferences should also be about fun and excitement. They are, to some extent, a chance for professional teams to let their hair down and enjoy one another’s company, outside of the office environment. The idea is that the team will return to work united and bonded like never before. Maybe that’s what makes Vegas such an ideal conference location!conference-team-building

Part of this bonding often takes the form of doing extra activities together – sport, team building exercises, shopping, or (if you’re lucky) partying. This means that when selecting accommodation, proximity to both the conference centre and other activity sites should be considered. If you were hoping to attend the CAUTHE Conference, and also squeeze in some time for team bonding in different locations, then, a hotel in the Brisbane CBD would be ideal. Websites like Hotel Urban Brisbane offer a variety of options for prospective attendees. Your next task, then, is to decide: surfing or rock-climbing?

There are so many benefits to gain from attending conferences and conventions, so do some research, sweet-talk your boss, and start packing your bags.

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