Are you dazed and confused by the proliferation of ePub, eCommerce, SocialMedia, eMedia and eMarketing conferences?
Are you overwhelmed by the choice and trying to work out how you can justify the cost?
As a response to the vast numbers of eMedia conferences being promoted, I found it useful to create a checklist to help me choose between so many conferences and ensure my money and time are well spent.
Here are 7 Questions I ask before signing up for an event:
- What are my motivations for attending? To network? Stay abreast of new trends? Perhaps I want to learn about some techniques or best practice? Is the attendee list available so that I can assess the networking value?
- What of the events reputation, organisers? Who in my network has or might have attended the conference in the past? What was the value they got? Is there any feedback on Linked In groups or industry leading blogs?
- Who is speaking? What about? Will the speakers / topics engage me. How many are commercial sponsors or advertisers? I attended a conference recently (digital media) where a significant number of the speakers were sponsors. Their talks were not engaging. A quick search online will help me figure out which speakers are commercial and which aren’t and what their level of accomplishment is.
- Who is putting the conference together and do they practice what they preach? Do they demonstrate best practice and if so what stories do they have to share about best practice? Do they have a blog and do they help the industry develop a better understanding of the issues, not just during the conference but on an ongoing basis?
- What’s the conference focus? Conferences tend to offer wide appeal (scatter gun approach) to attract wide audiences. Too often conferences fill their programs, try to cater for all tastes and satisfy none properly, achieving zero value.
- How much is it? If I spent the money on training, what would I get? Can I afford not to go? Can I follow the conference online? Is it being streamed tweeted, SlideShared? Does it have a Twitter hashtag?
- Finally, perhaps the goal of a good eMedia ePub conference should be to focus on idea execution rather than idea generation. At this mid term stage in our shift to digital, a good conference is one that doesn’t provide more ideas but one that empowers us to make good the ideas we’ve already got.
What are your thoughts? Please share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to hear me talk about a conference I thought was very special, click here to see a videoblog I made about Like Minds, an excellent conference on the theme of Creation and Curation in Digital Media.