How to Evaluate If You Should Attend an Event

Posted on May 28, 2015

I’ve been running my business for six years and it’s always tough to figure out when to go out to an event and when to stay home. This week, a good entrepreneur friend of mine was hosting a dinner for a small group of entrepreneurs in LA (where I live). He invited me to go about two weeks ago and my ambitious (“I should go out more”) side said yes. Of course, when the day came around to go to the party, I felt overwhelmed with my work load and emailed my friend to tell him I couldn’t go. I felt torn between getting my work done and following through on a commitment. I thought the decision was over but then my friend emailed me back with a list of reasons on why I should attend the event. And you know what? He was right. I went.

Looking back on this situation, I like to think about how I could have handled the situation better. The next time I get invited to an event, I’m going to ask myself (and potentially the person who invites me) the following questions:

  1. Who will be there? I’ll look up a few of the attendees before I make my decision.
  2. What could I potentially learn from the attendees? Even though the people at the dinner weren’t in the same industry, I was still able to learn a lot from hearing their stories.
  3. Why do you think I should attend? I’ll ask the person who invites me why they think I should attend. I didn’t know that the friend who invited me to this dinner wanted me to go because one of the attendees recently had a book come out and was very successful in selling copies. He thought I could learn a lot from this person. He was right! If I had asked my friend from the beginning why he thinks I should go, I would have known that from the get-go.