If you live in Lagos, then you know that attending events is a small kind of accomplishment. It takes real bravery to leave your weekend binge or nap and drive through crazy traffic to anywhere, no matter how noble the cause. But the worst part is going through the trouble for an event that is not even worth your while. You waste clothes, fuel and energy. You waste a whole weekend, or weekday when you could be sleeping. Fam! There’s no time for that. I’ve learned to be more intentional when deciding on an event to attend. Here is a very brief list I go through before I think about wearing my shoes…
Do your research on the event
Don’t just go to an event because everyone is going. Even if it’s a free event, it would still be a waste of your precious time if you just attended for attending sake. Google the event, find out if it’s happened before and what the reviews were like. If it is an empowerment seminar, research on the speakers that are going to attend and what they’ll be talking about. Search for the event hashtags and see what you can find from there. If it’s a massive conference with many sessions, check the schedule and what each session is about. Don’t just coast through, strolling in and out of different sessions. Never go into an event with no prior knowledge or information on it, so that you don’t end up walking out halfway.
Figure out your ‘why’
Why are you going to the event? What’s your aim? Is it to meet prospective clients, network with your peers, to seek collaborative opportunities or just for entertainment? When you’ve figured out your why, this will help you prepare adequately for the event. For some, the kind of people they will meet there may be more important than the actual content of the event. For e.g. I have paid money to attend a Vision Board session, even though I know how to do one and could’ve done a session by myself at home. But the quality of people I knew I would meet at this event was my main reason for attending. I was surrounded by women that were breaking glass ceilings like it was a hobby and I left inspired and with a few new contacts. 🙂
Can you afford it?
Do you have a budget for events you plan to attend in a month or in a year? Do you plan to space out that budget over smaller events or use it on a big event, like a three day or one-week long annual conference? You’ll also have to take travel costs if any, into consideration. There are a lot of free events you can take advantage of but you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll just have to pay to be in attendance, because of the value you’re getting. The points listed above will help you determine if it’s worth you bringing out some extra cash if you have to or if you point blank can’t afford it.