Take this to determine if a conference is worth attending
Founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line Nancy Lublin compiled a handy quiz for professionals when considering to attend a business conference.
The idea came about after she realised that she had spent way too much of her young professional life attending expensive, time consuming conferences that did not really add value to her career.
This quiz is a handy tool to determine if that calendar event pop up on your screen is really worth your while.
The conference is:
- a) invite-only
- b) open to anyone, but some of the attendees are people you are dying to meet
- c) open to anyone but focused on a niche topic you love, so you might bond with a few good folks
- d) the equivalent of a buffet in Atlantic City: open to everyone, cheap, and a little bit dirty.
The conference is in:
- a) the city where you live and/or work
- b) a location you’re dying to visit
- c) an undesirable market but within three hours’ commute
- d) An unheard off destination.
The conference will take place:
- a) over three workdays during a slow period at the office
- b) over a non-holiday weekend and includes an open bar
- c) during that Lady Gaga concert you were planning to see
- d) on the same weekend as your sister’s wedding.
The conference is:
- a) all expenses paid, including travel and hotel
- b) free, but you cover your own travel and lodging
- c) kind off pricey
- d) going to require a second mortgage.
- a) a featured speaker
- b) like any other participant — treated equally and on lots of panels
- c) hoping to ask a public question
- d) encouraged to be seen but not heard.
Scoring guide: (a)=10 points each (b)=7.5 (c)=4 (d)=2
40 – 55 points. Pack your bags and kiss the kids goodbye! Davos, TED — here you come!
30 – 40 points. Worth doing. A couple of tips to maximize the benefits: If you’re on a panel, go last. Be the clean-up hitter that pulls things together. Look at the attendee list in advance. Who are these folks? Make a list of the people you’d like to meet — and schedule those meetings in advance.
20 – 30 points. This conference doesn’t quite meet the bar. Invest your time and money in better bets more suited to your availability, resources, and skills.
10 – 20 points. Schedule a nice dental check-up instead, and maybe get a dog. Do something — anything — else. This is a time- waster not worth the bother.