Companies hold annual conferences for their managers and/or clients and people either love them or hate them. If you are fortunate enough to work for an organization that puts on a conference that includes meaningful sessions that one can actually learn from mixed with fun, enjoyable activities than you most likely look forward to these annual meetings. But what good does it do for your career to attend these conferences other than maybe your boss telling you have to be present and therefore you do even if grudgingly?
Regardless of whether a company event is educational or fun, it's a chance to network with your peers, other clients and vendors that you may not otherwise have the chance to do. Expanding your contacts of people and getting to know them and how you might one day be able to help open doors for their career, they too may be able to do the same for you.
Now you may be thinking that this whole idea of 'networking' and talking to strangers or people you rarely see is not your cup of tea but I'm here to tell you that it can be if you are open to learning the skills for networking and step outside your comfort zone. I used to define 'networking' as the events that everyone just simply hands out cards and says hi for a few minutes. Those do exist but they are not for me and may not be for you either.
Networking in a setting that allows you to have a conversation and get to know one another can be a lot of fun. Show interest in the person you are talking to and don't make it all about you. If you do that and do it genuinely chances are they will be a friend or at least a contact for life. So, if you hate going to company conferences and view it as disrupting your daily routine or it's simply outside your comfort zone - take it from another angle by changing your attitude and outlook and seek opportunities to meet people and mingle. At the end of the conference, you'll be able to say what a great time you had and probably look forward to the next one.