Many business women I know do not go to conference because, in order of significance stated by them, (1) they cannot afford it, (2) they are already conversant with the topic or (3) they are not interested in the speakers. “Networking” is never mentioned.
These are my criteria:
1. Does the topic interest me?
2. Do I have time to attend?
3. Are the expected attendees business prospects for me?
4. Do I want to go to where it is held?
5. Can I afford it?
One of my clients (executive search executive in renewable energy industries) tells me that # 3 is his top criterion. His business, already significant and growing, comes from personal interactions with other conferees.
This is where he will be in the near future:
December 1, 2010 – Atlanta
Promoting Sustainable Energy Solutions
February 1-2, 2011 – Boston
Offshore Wind Power
February 10-11, 2011 – Boston
PV Rollout, European American Solar Deployment
February 13-16, 2011 – Washington, DC
"Hydrogen + Fuel Cells = Pathway to a Clean Energy Future"
March 8-10, 2011 – Tampa
Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America 2011
If networking with renewable energy top players would benefit you also (what can you sell to them?), may I suggest you sign up as well?
In any event, do not overlook the “networking” aspect of any conference you plan to attend in 2011.
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