The Importance of Continuing Education

By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™ – “A Passion for Performance”

Some people might call me a convention “junkie.” I really love to go to educational conferences and workshops. They invigorate and inspire me.

The women in my exercise class call me the “world traveler” because if I’m not doing a wedding at one of the many beautiful resort properties in Virginia, I am probably off gallivanting in some exotic local under the guise of “education.” They tease me and say, “Education? Yeah, right! We see the Facebook pictures.”

But it’s true! It really is education and it really is fun!

The REAL Social Networking

I love Facebook. I visit multiple times every day, and I’ve got over 1,000 friends! But I must share a secret I believe most of you already know. Most Facebook friends are really “acquaintances.” Some are childhood friends and they will love you forever no matter what…even if you haven’t called them in 10 years.

However, something amazing happens when you sit down “face to face” with people in “real life.” It is SO MUCH more powerful than a website. The connection becomes REAL! The friendship becomes REAL! The taste of the wine, the sound of the music, the chatter of surrounding conversations…this is REAL SOCIAL NETWORKING!

The Hidden Education

Everyone I know who is a convention aficionado like me will attest to this truth…there is just as much “education” in the hallways and in the bars, as there are in the seminars. The seminars and workshops may open the door to conversation, but the intimate “one on one” sharing sessions really make the difference.

The bonding over shared experiences cements friendships and opens new doors for success that would otherwise remain closed. Private or small group conversations bring about new solutions for marketing and sales, creative performance ideas, problem solving techniques, and for DJs there is always tons of “tech talk” about the latest gadgets and toys.

And, I must say, as a female DJ, I am thrilled to be surrounded by geeks. Thanks to them, I will never need to read a manual or do technical research because the alcohol enhanced cross-platform study guides shared at conventions is better than any “google” search.

No One is an Island

A dear friend of mine loves to use the phrase, “Unconscious Incompetence.” That’s when a person isn’t aware that they don’t know something. It’s not their fault. They just don’t know. (And they don’t know that they don’t know.)

If you are living in a bubble and never venture out to professional gatherings to mix it up and learn from people in your field…your business will never truly be what it can. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but…you don’t know everything. You aren’t always right and other people just might be able to help you…especially if they consider you a friend. So, it’s time to get out there and make new friends!