Here's a great analysis of some techn conferences….. [thanks Jason]
Putting a Value to a Conference
In the past days there has been some discussion about the registration cost of professional conferences, especially the PDC ($1700) and BloggerCon ($500). The discussion about the PDC is that without question the conference produces value for its fee, but that the fee in itself is just too high for some people. With BloggerCon people remarked with $500 for a one day conference with no history to show for, and a vague semi-technical content its return-on-investment (in contrast to for example the PDC) is questionable.
I thought a bit about this because I visits about 10-12 conferences per year, although most of them are academically oriented. I think there are a number of criteria to consider when selecting a conference:
- Innovation – will you hear new stuff that may challenge you
- Technical – will you learn about techniques/technologies you will use
- Political – will you get a better of view at the strategic level
- Networking – will you hook up with (new) people
- Career – will this conference help you to advance your professional goals
- Entertainment – Will you be able to have some fun
- Location – if the conference sucks can you go somewhere else
Warning! The following is not scientific:
If I takes these criteria and apply them a number of professional conferences that have just happened or are about to take place, I get the following:
The weights for each of the criteria is from 1-10, and are made up by me for a fictive professional who wants to go to each of the conferences. Your mileage may vary. (BTW I am not sure what the registration for XML-DevCon was). The return value is calculated by 100 / (cost of the conference / (sum of the weights * number of days)).
I really think Gnomedox shoulld get negeative points for being in the middle of po-dunk. It just isn't reasonable to go to hell for a conference. But there should ALSO be points for amusing moderators and hosts – so Chris Pirillo would make up for being in the middle of no where – by being such a fun guy.
And where's SuperNova? reBoot? Ars Electronica? COMDEX? [Marc's Voice]