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Shows, Events Everywhere! Overwhelmed Yet?

on Wednesday, 13 May 2015.

As we gear up for one of the largest AV shows that any of us attend, I consider how many trade show, conference, and seminar opportunities we are bombarded with, yearly. Do you find it difficult to determine which are worth your time? From which will you take the most useful information? What type of event gives you the best return on your financial investment?

The answers to those questions can be as numerous as the shows themselves. But there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your time away from campus:

-- Do you hold an industry designation which requires you to stay current? Is there an opportunity to receive credits toward your certification or for professional development? Shows and conferences which offer renewal credits give you great bang for your buck. Not only are you able to learn about trends, products and project, you can also check those credits off your to do list! Two birds….

-- What are the attendee demographics? Are they mostly peers or are their responsibilities varied? I find that the most worthwhile shows are those during which I am surrounded by others who do what I do on a daily basis. The ability to network, review material and discuss challenges and successes with those who “get it” is invaluable.

-- What does your next year look like? Will the showcase allow you to gather information necessary to help you complete the next year’s projects? Many of you have projects scheduled months (years for large projects) in advance. So attend the shows that will help you choose the right products for those projects. Or find conferences that highlight the trends and technologies you will need to design the room; i.e. collaboration technologies.

-- How big is the show and how many days are you able to be there? This is always the magic question, right? What we are really saying is what will budgetary and time limitations allow? The smaller (and often less costly) conferences (like NWMET in the northwest which I attended last month- hats off to Jon Loney who put together a fantastic event) are priceless (not literally) and...

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