The Value of Conferences

Posted on June 19, 2009

I’m just back from Web Content 2009, which I really enjoyed.  It got me thinking a bit about conferences, and the value of going to them, especially in light of Scott Abel’s discussion of the trouble the conference world is having right now.

I think conferences have benefit on five levels:

What’s somewhat interesting is that I actually find this to be the least common benefit.  Unless you sign-up for an actual workshop or training session that’s designed to teach you a new skill, I find that I don’t actually learn a lot of hard skills at conferences.

So, there you have it.  When most people go to a conference – especially their first, few conferences – they expect nothing but skill-based learning.  If that’s all you want, book a training session or workshop or something.  Conferences are often about the bigger picture and if you take a step back and focus on that area, you can learn a lot more.

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