Date posted: 2/03/2020 4 min read

The benefits of face-to-face learning

Attending conferences and workshops can be an effective way to keep your industry knowledge and skill set up to date, and grow your network. So how can you get the most out of in-person learning opportunities?

In Brief

  • Understanding the future of your industry can help you identify what skills you may need to future-proof your career
  • Face-to-face learning can be a great opportunity to learn more about your sector and discover best-practice tips shared by industry experts
  • Face-to-face learning gives you the chance to put your soft skills to the test

As the way we work becomes more digital, so does the way we learn. However, face-to-face workshops and conferences remain useful professional growth opportunities to take advantage of.

Petris Lapis, results coach, performance consultant and mindfulness trainer believes accounting and finance professionals must continually update their skills to remain flexible and agile in their careers. Lapis believes face-to-face learning provides professionals the opportunity to learn new skills and stay ahead of the curve in a fast-changing industry.

Here's why you should consider face-to-face workshops and conferences in the new decade.

Expand your knowledge and challenge your thinking

Conferences, in-person seminars, workshops and events that get people together create an ideal setting for conversation and two-way, reciprocal learning. They provide opportunities for students to share their own perspectives and understanding of the material, through informed and expert-facilitated discussions.1

Lapis says a good presenter will also modify the content to suit the technical levels of the audience and encourage engagement.

"A good presenter will 'know' when the audience hasn't understood, and will explain the content again. A presenter can answer your questions on the spot, and give you real life examples so you can make the connections. In face-to-face learning, you have the opportunity to tailor your learning in a way that makes sure you have truly understood it," Lapis explains.

Professionals who engage in face-to-face learning can not only benefit from the presence of a workshop facilitator, but can develop a richer understanding through interaction and dialogue with their peers.2

"One of the key benefits of attending face-to-face learning is that you are attending it with other delegates. You have the opportunity to network and learn from them."
Petris Lapis, Results coach, performance consultant and mindfulness trainer.

Build and grow your network

Face-to-face networking can be an effective tool for long-term relationship building and achieving career growth.3 It can provide both personal and professional opportunities to build recognition in the industry, receive and give career advice, and build confidence in one's business acumen and knowledge.4

Engaging in face-to-face learning can also provide professionals with the chance to meet industry experts who can be a valuable resource for referrals and understanding best practices.5

Conferences and events bring together like-minded individuals who can become lifelong connections.6 Whether you're the leader of a large organisation or new to the industry, Lapis says attending conferences and industry events can provide you with a valuable opportunity to extend your skill set and network.

"Face-to-face learning is an opportunity to build and grow your network, form real relationships and learn from the experiences of others. Networking is one of the most valuable skills we will have as our career progresses, and you can start enjoying the benefits of networking when attending workshops," Lapis says.

Become an industry expert

Whether it's technical knowledge areas or understanding the impact of technology on the future of work, accounting and finance professionals need to understand the latest developments to better meet client challenges.7

When you attend conferences and events, you may be given the opportunity to present your ideas to industry experts which in turn allows you to develop the confidence to position yourself as an expert in a particular field.

"Group discussions are brilliant for encouraging people to share ideas, work in teams, and see how the experiences of individuals compare with others in the room. Face-to-face learning provides you with the opportunity to ask questions, and receive immediate responses to clear up misunderstandings," Lapis explains.

The opportunity to become a voice of authority among your peers can also extend to your workplace. By sharing your key takeaways from a conference or workshop with your colleagues, you're developing capability and building value in your organisation, as well as positioning yourself as an internal consultant for your peers.8

Learning is a lifelong undertaking, and in our constantly changing world, accounting and finance professionals should pursue continuous professional development to maintain a competitive edge and perform effectively.

Chartered Accountants ANZ learning opportunities are designed and delivered by leading educators to help you connect, learn and be inspired to make a difference in the industry. Discover how our CA Education 2020 conferences and workshops could help you strengthen your personal brand and reputation, expand your network and capitalise on new opportunities with the CA advantage.

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