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Either formally or informally, we have all been through some kind of career development, from attending various academical institutions of learning, training and so on. A lot of us have also been participants of informative gatherings such as seminars, symposium, conferences, and workshops.

The importance of these learning and development platform cannot be over emphasized. Intriguingly, a good number of people do not know the differences between these events. This blog post is aimed at enlightening you about some key career development platforms namely; Symposium, Conference, Workshops and Seminars as well as outline some of the importance of participating in them as it affects career growth and development.

Symposium: This is an educational gathering of experts in a particular field in which special topics are brought forward and discussed on with the view of making recommendations and possible solutions concerning them. Symposium also refers to any academic conference, or a style of university class characterized by an openly discursive format. It usually involves more than one speaker.

Conference: A conference refers to a formal meeting in which participants exchange their views on various topics. It is usually involves presentations and a large crowd of people. It might not be necessarily academic.

Workshop: This is a series of educational and work sessions. Small groups of people meet together over short period of time to concentrate on a defined area of concern, the purpose of work shop may vary from informing, problem-solving, training, brief intensive course.

Seminars: This is lecture held for a small group, on a set of topics/ particular topic which are usually educational in nature.

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Networking: Conferences are a great way for building valuable communities and relationships. It provides you the opportunity to meet relevant people especially within the sphere of your career and those at the echelon of relevant industries. A well-known fact is that the right network and relationship is crucial for career growth. Again, individuals that will not ordinarily listen to you, are more willing to give you their audience if they are approached in a more formal setting like a conference because a common ground to interact is already established.

Building skill sets and certifications: This is a core advantage of attending industry and educational workshops, to develop hands-on skill and in some case, certifications can be obtained after fulfilling all requirements.

Inspiration: A lot of conferences feature experts and individuals who are most successful in the field to be speakers. When such people speak we are motivated to be the best and follow their steps to even be better.

Business Development: These platforms provide the opportunity for learning, there is always something new in your field or business. Building your business or career in isolation is limiting and less beneficial. In most cases, information passed in these conferences and summits can help the productivity of your business, inform you on new technologies and how to use them to your advantage. For aspiring students, there are some educational conferences which provides a one-on-one forum for international and local schools to meet, sometimes there are opportunities for on the spot admission.

Vendors and suppliers: There are some conferences that are held on specific fields of interest and in most cases all parties are usually in attendance. Take advantage of this to source for good vendors and suppliers of the relevant products, services and vice versa

Develop expertise: If you are active enough in your industry, you can give an impression of an expert to your client and peers. Well known individuals in industries are often ask to serve as consultants, speakers in events, writers of articles and relevant research work.

Some upcoming events in Nigeria 2019

International Conference on Management Economics and Social Science (ICMESS)-Lagos

Lagos Digital and Marketing Summit (LDMT SUMMIT)-Lagos

West Africa Trade and Export Finance Conference-Lagos

International Conference on Medical and Health Science (ICMHS)-Lagos

West African Ports and Rail Evolution-Lagos

Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) –Abuja

Check out more conferences, workshops, seminars and symposiums via this link

Author: Ejiro Ighodaye
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