The Conference Connection - CFO Survey Shows Conferences Can be Good for
Business

TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - Networking at conferences is good business, according to a recent survey of chief financial officers (CFOs). One quarter (25 per cent) of executives polled said their most successful business meeting outside the office was conducted at a conference or trade show. Still, not everyone feels it's useful to get away from the office. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents cited their workplace as the only location for successful business meetings.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, "Other than in the office, what was the location of your most successful business meeting ever?" Their responses:

    
               Trade show or conference ..................  25%
               Restaurant ................................  22%
               Golf course ...............................  10%
               On a trip/plane ...........................   7%
               Sporting event ............................   1%
               Nowhere else, only in office ..............  27%
               Other/don't know/refused ..................   8%
    

"Conferences and trade shows allow professionals the opportunity to network, build relationships and source new ideas without being troubled by office distractions," said David King, executive vice president of Robert Half Management Resources' Canadian operations. "Professional preferences differ, however, and many executives still favour the traditional office environment when conducting important meetings."

King offers the following business tips when attending a conference.

    
    -  Do your homework. Review the attendee list in advance to identify
       individuals you would like to make contact with. Knowing the company,
       industry and job title of interesting participants will allow you to
       prepare for meaningful conversations.
    -  Set goals. Take some time to think about what you would like to
       achieve at the conference - honing your technical or leadership
       skills, meeting new contacts or sourcing vendors. Having a game plan
       will help you maximize your time and derive the most benefit.
    -  Network. Network. Network. Use this opportunity to connect with
       business professionals you would not otherwise have access to.
       Remember to practice your elevator pitch and bring plenty of business
       cards.
    -  Venture out on your own. While it may be tempting to mingle with
       existing colleagues, take this opportunity to meet new people. If each
       member of your group meets five individuals, your network will grow
       significantly.
    -  Offer to contribute. Have some interesting industry or professional
       expertise? Consider submitting a speaker proposal. You'll present
       yourself as a subject matter expert while gaining new skills and
       contacts.
    -  Learn something new. Attend sessions that will introduce you to new
       subjects rather than those in which you feel most comfortable. Keep a
       running list of ideas, insights and action items learned for future
       follow-up.
    -  Keep in touch. Widen your network by contacting individuals after the
       conference. Social networking sites like LinkedIn are an excellent way
       to stay connected and share industry best practices.
    

About the Survey

The Canadian study was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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