School workshops and online training courses are all great professional development options, but attending an ECE conference in person provides a variety of great learning opportunities that you usually don’t get to experience at smaller trainings. If you’ve never attended a conference before or if you’re not sure it would be a beneficial experience for you or your employees, here’s a list of 10 reasons to attend an ECE conference:

  1. Expand Your Professional Network – Conferences are a great place to network with other educators and professionals in the industry. Whether it’s over coffee or at a breakout session, it’s important to take advantage of a conference’s networking opportunities. Be sure to get the contact information of people you meet and talk to.
  2. Learn from the Experts – One of the best reasons to attend an ECE conference is that you can actually meet industry experts face-to-face. Attending a workshop session by someone you admire or having a few minutes to ask them a couple questions about their work or presentation can provide valuable learning opportunities.
  3. Get a Fresh Perspective – If you feel like your burnt out on teaching a certain concept or dealing with certain issues in the classroom, attending a conference can help you look at the situation or concept differently and give you new ideas and solutions to try.
  4. Hone Your Skills – Conferences give you opportunities to step away from work and focus on learning new approaches and ideas you can utilize in the classroom, which ultimately helps make you a more effective and efficient educator.
  5. Try Something New – Instead of reading an interesting blog post or watching a training video by yourself, attending a conference requires you to break out of your comfort zone and interact with other educators. Volunteering to participate in a presentation or going to lunch with some of the other educators at the conference are two examples of how you can try something new and out of your comfort zone.
  6. Make an Investment – Attending a conference means that you’re making an investment in yourself, your career, and your school/center. You may also be able to earn CEUs by attending the conference or certain workshops and presentations.
  7. Discover the Newest Products – Conference exhibit halls are filled with vendors that have information about the newest products, tools, and resources available in the industry. Be sure to look for representatives from Kaplan at the conference you attend!
  8. Get Freebies – From pens and notepads to chip clips and tote bags, you’ll find that companies have lots of freebies to give away to conference attendees. 
  9. Be Inspired – Attending conferences with colleagues and other like-minded individuals can inspire you to improve your skills or try something new in the classroom. Visiting local programs and schools that are already implementing the changes and solutions you’re learning about at the conference can also be a great source of inspiration.
  10. Stay Informed – Conferences help you stay informed about the latest changes in policies and national/state standards. They also provide opportunities for you to learn about new teaching strategies and techniques.

Be sure to enter your email address in the bottom right corner of the page to sign up for our emails. If you select “Early Childhood Conferences & Events” as one of your areas of interest, you’ll receive a monthly email that lists upcoming conferences in your area.