CR*****-How to pick a conference

How to Pick a Conference

Just like cars, boats, and houses, there are plenty of options when choosing and registering for a conference. Here are some key things you should be looking when shopping for a conference:

1) Type of Conference - Make sure you fully understand what you are buying before registering. Some conferences are just that, conferences. Others feature a large exhibition with a few small seminars and no real conference. Some conferences provide both. Make sure you know what you are paying for so you arenít surprised on the day of the event.

2) Topic - Just because a conference says the keywords you are looking for in the name, doesnít mean the program will include the topics you want to hear about and the speakers you are interested in hearing. Read the preliminary program, which you can find on the conference website. features links to these websites. If a program is not listed read the conference description and if that doesnít work e-mail the conference organizer for a brochure. Content is one of the things you should always check into before attending an event.

3) Networking - Conferences are a lot more than just listening to speakers. They are an opportunity to grow your business. Make sure the people attending are the oneís you want to be networking with. Ask the conference organizer for a list of companies. Sometimes the companies are listed on the conference website as well. Finally, try not to follow the same crowd from event to event. Frequent conference goers tend to stick together at events, attending the same ones year after year. If you can handle breaking away from the pack, try to explore elsewhere as well. Itís a great way of finding new business.

4) Location, Location, Location - You should never neglect to attend an important meeting because of location, but for the ones you have a choice about, why not pick something you will enjoy. Conferences are a great excuse for travel and knowing this many conference organizers go through great lengths to find the best possible locations for their events. From New York to Sydney, Budapest to the Bahamas, if you can find a way to add a bit of leisure time, it will always make traveling for business more enjoyable.

5) Price - Yes, price does matter, especially with the recession hammering away at everyoneís piggybank, but before you cancel that trip to Miami, make sure you understand what you are getting for your money. Some conference prices include breakfast, lunch and dinner for all three days. These can be included in the price along with other add ons such as free transportation to and from the airport, free wireless access, and even free hotel stay. More often than not though, the price will simply include food at the conference, networking receptions and your conference materials so donít feel like you are getting a raw deal if it doesnít include more. Conference prices depend on where they are located and how many sponsors have added to the pot. Always remember that members receive discounts, and you can attend a show for very little with an exhibition pass.

Of course there are other things that go in to picking a conference, number of attendees, size of exhibition, etc. There are links on that will lead you directly to the conference site for more information. And remember to come back to once you have attended the event. Your ratings will help new attendees find their way to the right conferences.

Thanks for reading,

ConferenceRater Staff Writer