Looking to break into the sports industry? Well, sports conferences and networking events are a great way to meet and learn from fellow aspiring sports professionals and seasoned sports professionals.
Not to mention, they will help you stay on top of the latest industry trends. They also help improve your self-confidence and self-esteem when interacting with professionals in the industry.
However, attending these conferences and events can be costly. Here’s a review of a few well established conferences and events so you may spend your time and money wisely.
Sports Networking Events in the New Year
1) The Business of Sports: A Night of Networking EventsWhere: Multiple cities and countries When: January 23rd, 2013 Registration Cost: Free
Pros: Definitely the cost, it doesn’t get any better than free. Additionally, this event is held in several major cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, which gives you the opportunity to network with professionals working in your market. The Business of Sports is also be good opportunity to meet new friends or gain a support system, raise your personal profile, and have some fun with like-minded individuals. Usually these events take place in local pubs. The laid back atmosphere can help ease the tension of the approaching new people, especially if you attend alone.
Cons: If you’re looking to meet and/or learn from highly ranked sports executives in the industry in a structured manner, this may not be your first choice. These events are usually more free form, and attract individuals who want to enter the field or want to advance in the field, the same position you may be in.
2) Sports Industry Networking and Career (SINC) ConferenceWhere: George Washington University in Washington, DC. When: February 8-9, 2013 Registration Cost:
- 1 – 4 people – $229
- 5 – 9 people – $209
- 10 – 19 people – $189
- 20 – 25 people – $169
Pros: Time. This event is evenly spread between two days, which gives attendees more opportunities to network with fellow attendees and attend many panels of their choosing. The multiplicity of panels introduce attendees to various areas within sports business and helps attendees learn valuable skills and knowledge. Lastly, the SINC conference has a unique networking experience with lunch networking roundtables. It gives attendees the opportunity to actually sit and speak with the sports executives over lunch.
Cons: No discounted rates for young professionals or students.
3) SMWW Basketball Career Conference in SportsWhere: NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV When: July 19th-20th, 2013 Registration Fee:
- General Public: $175 – $225
- Students: $125 – $160
- Discounts are available for team employees, sports agents, military, and faculty. Summer League game tickets are included in your conference fee for all games on Saturday.
Pros: The location. Las Vegas is a great place to visit, but even better when you get to network and socialize with some of the best in the basketball industry. Additionally, this is one of the few conferences that is dedicated to a particular sport. This gives you the opportunity to network within the industry with fellow basketball minded individuals. Additionally, for college students, one hour of college credit is available for attending the conference. Lastly, this is an awesome way to source mentors and gurus who can cut your learning curve to where you want to go within the basketball industry.
Cons: The location. Again, Las Vegas is great, but this essentially one day conference is sure to cost you a pretty penny if don’t live close or are just short on funds.
BONUS: Ivy Sports Symposium (ISS)Where: TBD – Usually between November or December When: TBD – Usually held at an Ivy League University Registration Cost:
- Professional (Regular): $375
- Ivy League Alum: $275
- Young Leader: $275
- Student: $100
Pros: The Ivy Sports Symposium is an annual student-run (and well-run) conference that is considered one of the global sports industry’s premier events. ISS attracts professionals at all stages of the game and always has the most influential executives and individuals in attendance. Additionally, the panels and workshops cater to professionals at any level, whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned professional, you’ll learn new ideas, industry tips and insider trends and information. With the mixture of professionals in attendance, it is easy to gain valuable contacts, establish new client relationships, or even gain a mentor or mentee. Lastly, the event attracts and caters to people from across the globe, which is beneficial for professionals interested in sports internationally.
Cons: Like SWCC, it’s only one day, and a long day at that. The conference begins at 8:00 am with registration and a light breakfast, and usually ends around 8:00 pm. There’s only so much networking someone can do (or take) in one day. Also, with so many young professionals seeking the advice of industry giants such as, David Falk or Billy King, you may grow weary of waiting in long lines to speak with them after their panel discussions. However, this is common to all great networking events; it’s a part of the process and likely won’t change. Lastly, some of the best panel discussions are scheduled simultaneously, which may leave you choosing between two topics you’re really interested in. This is somewhat of a good problem, depending on your prospective.
These are just a few of the many conferences and opportunities available for you to network and hopefully break into the industry. Other conferences to consider include the Sports Financial Advisors Association (SFAA) National Conference, the Sports Lawyers Association Conference, and events held at colleges and universities in your area. With all these opportunities, this year it is a great time to get out there and network. Happy Networking!
Comment below on how you plan to network in 2013. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @SportsNetworker
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