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6 Ways Attending a Crowdfunding Event Can Boost Your Business Even if you haven't committed to crowdfunding, the events are worthwhile just for what you can learn and who you can meet.

By John Boitnott Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Gil C / Shutterstock.com

Each year crowdfunding grows in popularity as more businesses and consumers learn about the platform. From innovative tech gear on Kickstarter to independent movie projects on Indiegogo, entrepreneurs can use these services to determine consumer interest and get the money they need to start the manufacturing process. In some cases businesses are using crowdfunding to get the sales they need to land funding from private investors.

In 2014, crowdfunding grew 167 percent, with sites bringing in $16.2 billion in funds. More entrepreneurs than ever are considering crowdfunding as a way to kick off a new product, but many aren't sure where to start. As a result, crowdfunding events have popped up all over the country, bringing professionals together to learn more about their options and network with other innovators. Here are some ways the right crowdfunding event can help you.

1. Learn from successes.

By now, crowdfunding has been around long enough for there to be numerous success stories. Some businesses have thrived as a result of their funding campaigns. Crowdfunding events allow attendees to network with professionals who have already hosted campaigns on these sites, getting one-on-one tips that can make a big difference when they launch their own campaigns. Most importantly, many of these conferences bring in some of the biggest successes in crowdfunding, who will serve on panels and provide presentations to offer their own advice based on lessons they've personally learned.

Related: 7 Lessons They Don't Teach You In Crowdfunding School

2. Keep up with trends.

At its rapid rate of growth crowdfunding is constantly evolving. Events give experts an opportunity to share upcoming trends to help entrepreneurs refine their own strategies. If a certain approach is no longer working, attendees will likely learn about it in a session during the conference. If a type of product has been proven to do well on one platform over another, an entrepreneur might learn about it through a conference and channel a campaign in the right direction.

3. Share marketing strategies.

Now that crowdfunding has become such a popular way to launch a project, its lessons extend to other areas of launching and growing a business, as well. Even an entrepreneur who is still on the fence about using crowdfunding can benefit from the marketing lessons at one of these events. Sessions with themes surrounding preparing your product for launch or promoting your campaign for top results can be used whether you launch your product on your own or through a crowdfunding platform. Presenters will demonstrate ways to maximize press exposure, such as writing and distributing press releases and landing exposure on high-profile websites. That information can translate to any area of promoting a new business.

Related: Which Entrepreneurs Will Benefit Most From the New Era of Crowdfunding?

4. Meet investors.

Crowdfunding events don't just attract business owners. Investors are enthusiastic about the future of these sites, as well. They'll often attend to provide their own insights, network and be the first to learn about exciting new products. Attending these events gives you the chance to meet potential investors and possibly pitch your own products. This could give you a head start on your upcoming campaigns.

5. Be informed about regulations.

Lawmakers have been watching crowdfunding closely and suggesting legislation that could impact any business using these services. By attending crowdfunding events, you can learn about upcoming legislation that could impact these platforms and be well prepared in case new laws are enacted.

6. Understand your funding options.

Crowdfunding is only one way to raise the money you need to get your business started. Acknowledging this, some event hosts include sessions that relate to landing funding to get a business started. You may learn about loan and scholarship opportunities, as well as get a better understanding for how the financial end of the crowdfunding process works.

Related: 4 Tips to Use Crowdfunding to Make Startup Dreams a Reality

As crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, industry events will become a valuable resource for any new business owner. By familiarizing yourself with the many benefits of attending these events, you can start attending them now and get an advantage over all of the other competitors who are starting new businesses and considering crowdfunding.

John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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