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Well-developed conferences will expose you to new information, concepts and practices, and physically bring together diverse groups of people that share a common interest. They place you in an environment rich with resources and organizations that would otherwise be difficult to have immediate and unrestricted access to.
Conferences are more than just a gathering of people and serve as an educational platform. They are often structured as a crash course or in-depth review of materials that cover years of information in just a few short hours, touching on both familiar and abstract concepts. They can be a great substitution for traditional employee training and also aid in keeping organizations up to date on the latest trends in specific industries or areas of focus.
Conferences present an immense opportunity for networking as they bring together large groups of people in one centralized area. This allows you to build relationships with both individuals and organizations while expanding your potential reach and impact.
1| Who the Conference is Targeted Towards
The largest component of any conference other than the speakers and sessions that it offers are the people attending the conference itself. These are the people that you sit next to in sessions, eat lunch with, and network with during social exchanges. These should be people that you want to interact with and will benefit from doing so. Knowing who will be in attendance at a conference should be a leading factor in your decision to take part and developing an approach for yourself or a team.
2| Diversity of content
A quality conference should offer more than just speaker sessions that convey information via one-way communication. It should provide a diverse array of sessions that are unique in their delivery of content and composition. The last thing you want to do is attend a conference that is singular in nature and doesn’t offer different options in covering material. Conferences that focus on a single topic serve a purpose, but if your intent is to be exposed to multiple topics and approaches, these aren't for you.
3| Return on Investment
Conferences are an investment of time and money, most of which can stretch over multiple days and cost hundreds of dollars. To ensure that you are achieving the maximum return on your investment, make sure that the conference is worth attending. An event should be chosen due to its relevance, relatability, and transferability of its content. If a conference recycles its content from year to year, it might only be worth attending once whereas continuously developed conferences renew their presented value.