Advantages and Disadvantages
There are other advantages to attending a grant-seeker workshop, in addition to those that have been discussed previously in this chapter. They include the following:
Marketing opportunities for a new grant-writing venture
Potential for gaining a competitive advantage over grant seekers not in attendance. You'll get “inside” information or learn about others who intend to apply for the same grant.
The opportunity to ask questions and learn from questions asked by others. That also gives you a valuable edge in writing your grant proposal.
At least one new bit of information that you can use in writing this proposal or another down the line
Like everything else in life, there is a downside as well, and you have to take that into consideration. Disadvantages of attending a grant-seeker workshop include:
They are time consuming, often taking at least a half-day or more (not including travel).
You'll be in a crowd that has diverse and wide-ranging skills and experience; if you're a more experienced grant writer, you'll have to put up with elementary questions.
They tend to be redundant after a while, particularly if you have already participated in workshops offered by the same granting agency or government department.
Unless the workshop includes breakout sessions or coffee breaks, you may have little or no opportunity to talk to presenters and receive help or advice about specific questions.
You can't know, of course, before you go how good the grant-seeker workshop will be or what it will offer of value. Just keep in mind that these can be valuable, especially as you are starting to write your first grant proposal.