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As an Information Technology professional I’ve had the pleasuring of attending some really good conferences and at the same time some really bad ones.  As I’ve moved into Sr. IT Leadership positions I’ve had to prioritize my time commitments and evaluate which conferences bring value to me and the time spent away from the office.

I’ve started evaluating conferences based on the following criteria:

  • Does the conference have an Executive or High Level strategy component?
  • Does the conference agenda align with my existing and future business technology strategic initiatives?
  • Who are the keynote speakers?
  • Will there be attendees that line up in my vertical that I can network with to share ideas and learn from?
  • Will existing vendor partnerships assist with the cost of the event? This is specifically true if they are asking me to attend.
  • Are there free time opportunities to check in or keep an eye on home base?

This criterial is the major deciding factors for me to ensure I’m getting the most value out of a conference for my invested time.  We are all busy;  getting pulled in all kinds of different directions, having a simple check list to evaluate the value of a conference is crucial.

Some questions for your engagement…

  1. How do you evaluate your conference attending ways?
  2. Which conferences have you attended (IT or otherwise) that provided the most value?