There is no hard and fast answer to this question mainly because no two conferences are created equal. However, each conference should be evaluated independently so you can consider all of the specifics with a clean slate: the cost of travel, session topics, speaker qualifications, networking opportunities, and of course, who the other attendees are.
Questions to ask in your evaluation:
- Reputation: Do I know someone who has attended this conference? Is this a leading conference in my industry? Does it draw repeat attendees or has the number of registrants increased over time? How long has this conference been in production?
- Value: What is the overall cost of this conference and what value am I receiving in return? Consider hotel rates, location, travel or entertainment vouchers, and access to well-known speakers and experts in your field. Is this worth the time spent out of office and the work that will be delayed as a result?
- Education: What sessions are appealing to me and what potential is there to learn something new? Are the session leaders noted in their field? Are the topics or themes relevant to my goals for this year? Consider the layout of various sessions: slide presentations can easily be taken with you and reviewed post-conference, whereas panels or real-time Q&A’s are harder to package up and take away.
- Expectations: Are you looking to be inspired by stories, case studies, and industry examples? Are you curious to learn what other people are doing? Based on the agenda and off-site activities, will this conference deliver upon my specific goals, whether that be forging new business, networking with like-minded individuals or learning about new technology and product developments?
ShareASale’s very own conference – ThinkTank 2016 – is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited to invite some of our best and brightest to the Windy City! We are biased when we say this, but we feel confident that our conference is worth the investment for attendees and stands up to even the toughest evaluation.
Particularly in the field of Affiliate Marketing, where remote work, solo-preneurs, and digital communication are the norms, face-to-face meetings become a necessary part of business. While this may not be true for every industry, attendees at these conferences are there to get business done, meet new and interesting people and learn concrete skills.
It is important that you choose conferences wisely, but when you find a good one, it can be crucial to your company! Here are three “C’s” that make conferences worth it!
What better way to network with other people in your industry than in person? Chat about hot topics while making new connections and building upon existing relationships. These days, it is not only about what you know, but who you know! From beginning to end, conferences are geared towards fostering these connections.
Expand your knowledge in your industry during the educational sessions, panels or roundtables and get inspired during the keynotes. A main goal of any good show is to specifically enhance your understanding of the industry and encourage the exchange of tips and best practices. Leave the show feeling like an expert!
While business is usually a serious matter, it is also important to have a good time while making new connections! Let loose and explore and enjoy the area. You never know who you will meet next, so don’t forget to attend the social events during a conference.