For me, conferences feel more like work than most typical days at the office. Yes, I work for an amazing company where I enjoy a creative workspace, work remotely options, and brilliant colleagues, however I am confident most professionals would agree with me that conferences are an exceptionally challenging experience compared to their average work day, no matter where they work.
Why? The answer can be spelled with three letters: R.O.I.
Conferences are expensive. Once you add up the cost of the conference ticket, travel, lodging, food, and incidentals, the total investment to attend a conference is hefty. Unless you work for a company that likes to throw money down the drain, you will likely be required to demonstrate a return on the cost of attending a conference.
This understandable demand to demonstrate the ROI of a conference is one of the reasons conferences are a lot of work for attendees.
When you’re listening to presentations, attending breakout sessions, and networking at a conference, you need to squeeze every ounce of opportunity and insight from each experience to ensure that the return on the overall investment is impressive. Luckily, some conferences make it simple to get a return on your investment.
Listed below are 4 conferences that make it easy for attendees to capture the necessary ROI, either in the form of the fresh ideas delivered during keynote presentations and workshops, or in the form of partnerships and connections forged during networking opportunities. (For additional lists of great conferences, see the resources included at the end of this post.)
1. Forbes CMO Summit 2015
What: The world’s top Chief Marketing Officers from a broad range of industries will join together for peer–to–peer networking, panel discussions and presentations that address today’s complex marketing landscape.
When: November 3-5, 2015
Where: Naples, FL
Watch: Highlights from the 10th annual gathering of marketing leaders in Naples, Florida.
2. SHRM Annual Conference 2015
What: The SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition is the largest and best HR event in the world, providing your organization with the tools and resources you need to create and implement the successful HR practices that will ensure that your company will thrive. Your company will get the targeted strategies and practical takeaways that you need to achieve your goals – from talent management to federal compliance to cutting-edge business strategies.
When: June 28-July 1, 2015
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Watch: Highlights from the SHRM Annual Conference 2014.
What: Join like-minded entrepreneurs, business leaders, bestselling authors and headliners straight out of the pages of Inc., for three days of ideas, inspiration and insights, networking and learning, and proven strategies to help your company grow and thrive.
When: April 7-9, 2015
Where: Nashville, TN (Also, the home of Ethos3)
Watch: Highlights from the GrowCo Conference 2014.
4. Authority Rainmaker
What: Authority Rainmaker runs on a single track over two days, covering the topics of Design, Content, Traffic, and Conversion. You won’t need to pick and choose which presentations you’ll want to see or have to miss. It’s an integrated agenda that will help you to immediately accelerate your business. And let’s not forget the secret sauce: real-world relationships. You’ll mingle with some of the smartest online marketers on the planet, and meet like-minded people to trade ideas, forge partnerships, and even create new companies.
When: May 13-15, 2015
Where: Denver, CO
Watch: Authority Rainmaker 2015 whiteboard promo video.
Conclusion: Conferences can drain valuable resources from a company, but some conferences are undoubtedly worth the investment of money and time. Pick wisely, and you will be rewarded greatly. For additional conference recommendations, see the lists included below.