Investing time and effort into attending an EHS conference offers a participant the advantages of introductions to other EHS professionals, the ability to engage in debate and discussions concerning new trends and solutions, and opportunities for learning about advancements (in technology or methodology) from subject matter experts. The following are ways that attending conferences can help individuals to develop professionally:
- Keeping up with (and sometimes participating in) industry developments: EHS conferences are a mecca for leading safety experts and EHS practitioners from various industries. EHS professionals congregate at conferences and expos to share their experiences and expertise. Participants can gain insights into current EH&S challenges and find the latest advancements that could provide practical solutions to common problems. The conversations and debates that take place when many experts in a field are gathered can also lead to the next ground-breaking development for that industry.
- Seeing demonstrations of technological advancements: EHS conference organizers invite vendors to exhibit their products and demonstrate the latest technology in the health and safety industry. Attending exhibitions is an excellent way to connect with solution providers and obtain product-specific information to determine the most compatible tools and technologies for solving EHS challenges.
- Networking with other professionals: Attending conferences in person provides unmatched opportunities to contact peers, build professional relationships, and expand one’s professional network. Studies have shown that professional networks play a crucial role in career advancement and job satisfaction. Attending EH&S conferences provides a unique opportunity to climb the career ladder.
- Enhancing knowledge and earning CEUs: EHS conferences are a platform for professional development, enabling attendees to expand their knowledge and improve their technical skills. Aspiring certificants and certified professionals such as CIH, CSP, and BGC practitioners can accumulate Continuing Education Units (CEU) by attending professional development seminars, keynote presentations, and technical paper presentations that enable them to claim certification credits and enhance their resumes. Employers that invest in their employees by having them attend industry conferences benefit from their employees contributing their improved competence and skills to the workplace. After attending conferences, employees can utilize that newly acquired knowledge to advance an organization’s EHS practices.
- Presenting technical papers: EHS professionals can choose to use conferences to demonstrate their expertise and receive recognition for their proficiency in their field. Others can glean from presenters sharing valuable experiences and research. Participating in a roundtable discussion or panel Q&A after a presentation is an engaging way to improve the health and safety of many workplaces.
- Receiving awards and other forms of recognition: Employers can nominate their companies and employees that have demonstrated exceptional contributions to advance the health and safety culture within their organization. Nominating employees for awards and other forms of positive reinforcement invariably boosts employee morale and provides an incentive to continue striving for excellence in work.
- Worldly Collaboration: Visiting an EHS conference in another city through a sponsored excursion is an opportunity for participants to broaden their horizons. Additionally, conferences often include social networking events with practitioners from many differing locations that contribute to making these events interesting and informative as viewed from a different perspective.
While virtual events have become increasingly available since the start of the pandemic, many still feel they benefit more from attending a conference in person. Host organizations and their sponsoring/partnering companies will generally post online about upcoming events and other opportunities to engage with peers. There is no better way to participate in the advancement of an industry and receive answers and personalized solutions to challenges.
The SafetyStratus Research Advisory Group (RAG) brings together thought leaders from the global environmental, health, and safety community to promote best practices and provide key insights in the profession and the industries they serve. The Research Advisory Group also advocates, where practical, the intersection of and advances with the use of technology, such as the SafetyStratus enterprise EHS software platform. Group membership consists of representatives from across varied disciplines and market sectors as well as select members of the SafetyStratus team.
The primary objectives of the SafetyStratus RAG partnership are to:
- Build a strategic partnership between EHS practitioners and the SafetyStratus team.
- Provide engaging and practical content to the global EHS community.
- Provide discipline and market feedback specific to SafetyStratus products and services.
While the objectives of the RAG are varied, the primary public-facing outcome will be available through engaging and practical content found on the SafetyStratus resource pages. Various articles, papers, and other valuable resources will be produced and shared as part of an ongoing effort to cultivate a robust community. Ultimately, the SafetyStratus RAG will expand to have a broader reach and provide opportunities for more inclusion by all interested EHS professionals in a collaborative community environment.