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Where you spend your conference budget matters

It’s conference season again, and you have an inbox full of event invitations.

We know you have a lot of choices of events to pick from, and as a group focused on brands, we wanted to share three questions to consider when deciding what to attend:

1.) Is it an event hosted by a member organization? Or is it hosted by a professional conference company?

These two groups have different goals. Membership organizations exist to help you succeed, to earn your membership renewal, and to support you. Professional event companies exist to maximize event profits.

Both are capable of hosting great (and not-so-great) events, but these two different goals do affect your event experience. One is there for you the day after the event, one isn’t.

2.) Are you the customer or the bait?

As the attendee, are you the real customer? Or are you there to attract all the sponsors? If you’ve ever felt the urge to hide your nametag at an event, you know what we’re talking about — and it’s no fun.

3.) Is the content chosen through an objective process, based on what will give you the best experience?

A good clue here is to check out the speaking lineup. If you see sponsors on stage, that could mean at least some speakers are paying to speak.

The point:

Your conference dollars, and your presence and contributions at events — they matter. When you’re deciding between events, you’re voting with your budget on what to support.

We know you have a lot of choices, we just hope you’ll invest in the events that invest in you and the industry we all work in — even if they’re not ours.

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