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Benefits of business conference participation for Australian SME managers: a case study of a belt and road initiative conference

Djajadikerta, H.G., Ong, T., Ng, D. and Trireksani, T. (2022) Benefits of business conference participation for Australian SME managers: a case study of a belt and road initiative conference. Industrial and Commercial Training .

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-07-2020-0090
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Abstract

Purpose
This study aims to explore the benefits of participation in a topic-relevant business conference as a learning and professional development apparatus for senior managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It analyzes the experiences of 12 Australian SME senior managers who participated in a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) business conference in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach
Data were collected through pre- and post-conference attendance interviews. Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick’s (2005) four levels framework was used to analyze the effectiveness of business conferences on the participants at four different levels of the framework: reaction, learning, behavior and results.

Findings
This study finds that the business conference has shown effectiveness for the participants at the reaction (Level 1), learning (Level 2) and behavior (Level 3), indicating that participation in a topic-relevant business conference is useful for the learning and professional development of SME managers. However, only a moderate level of results (Level 4) was identified from attending the BRI conference, which implies that the content and quality of the business conference may influence the achievement of expected results.

Originality/value
This paper contributes a new understanding of the benefits of topic-relevant business conference participation as a learning and professional development apparatus for SME senior managers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright: © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64380
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