Hello all,

I'm considering going (on my own dime) to a medium sized conference in my industry. The focus of the conference is in line with my future career aspirations, including companies I'd like to work for some day.

However, I don't currently have the skills to even THINK about applying for any of those companies. This will cost approximately $1,200 of my family's hard earned dollars plus 2 days out of my (small) vacation pool.

Do you think the networking + learning opportunities are worth the cost?



gehrhorn's picture
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 I think they're good for a few things. I went to one three weeks ago and tried to meet up with industry peers. I've scheduled 4 follow-up calls with people I've met. I'm using that to "talk shop" and build my network. This has a lot of value to my company, because it helps me gauge our plans against what other people are doing. Even if all we do is confirm that we're on the right track it's a good deal.

However, I didn't have to pay out of pocket and I didn't have to use vacation time. Do you think you could make the case that your current company would derive > $1200 + 2 days absence in value?

Alternatively, you could call the conference organizer and see if there are reduced cost opportunities. I'm able to attend an upcoming industry conference in June because I volunteered to speak. I was at another where they would knock some money off the bill if you volunteered to help register people in the morning.





srsjojo's picture

 Thanks for the insight, you brought up some good points to consider. Here are a few other details that might be relevant:

  • $1200 is the total cost including airfare and lodging (the bulk of the cost). Conference registration is trivial
  • This won't directly impact my current company. The conference topic is more in the vein of my future career aspirations
  • The conference is this weekend (just learned about it from an industry blog I follow)

Thanks for your input,


nathankendrick's picture

I'm planning on doing the same thing next week, and again in June.

Did you go?  Was it worth it?