If you work in the tech field, you may feel like emerging trends and evolving technologies are keeping you in a constant state of flux.  You need to keep up with developments around the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality, big data analytics, mobile, security, cloud computing, and smart connected product design, just to name a few.  What better place to do that than a technology conference, where you can gather a wealth of information in just a few days.  But how can you spot a great technology conference, one that will give you everything you’re looking for (and maybe something you didn’t even know you needed)?  Here are a few tips to get you started on your tech conference quest.

1. Look for Information You Can Implement On-The-Job

The breadth and depth of technical content should be your top consideration, and it can make or break a conference. Look for content tracks and topics that are directly relatable to the information you’re looking for, and how that content is presented.  If you want a practical, implementation-focused approach, you should look for on-site training, certifications and workshops.  Check session abstracts to make sure the information presented is actionable and focused on industry best practices. See if sessions are recorded for viewing after the conference. Be sure to do some pre-show planning at least a few weeks before so you know the exact sessions you want to attend.

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2.  Presenters Who Are Thought Leaders in Their Fields

Next, take a look at the conference presenters and the organizations they represent.  Are they thought-leaders in their respective fields, and are their organizations well known and respected?  Have they presented at other tech conferences?  Do they have a history of success within the industry?  If you’re unfamiliar with the presenters, some research may be in order before you register.  Check out their LinkedIn profile, blog, and personal or company websites to perform your due diligence. 

3.  A Variety of Learning Options

People learn differently, that’s a fact.  What type of learning options are available at the conference?  If you’re more of a hands-on learner, then the thought of endless hours in presentation-style sessions will probably put you to sleep. Make sure there’s a good mix of case studies/success stories, demonstrations, problem-solving activities, group discussions, presentations, panel sessions with Q&A and other learning formats available.  Additionally, check the agenda for scheduled networking opportunities.  You’ll be amazed what you can learn from other attendees during social hours or lunch time. 

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4.  Value for Your Money

What value are you going to gain for the price of admission…for yourself and your organization?  You’ll likely need to justify the registration cost, so you should be able to present the most compelling information you’ll take away from the event. Will you be able to consolidate and present what you’ve learned to your team after the conference, highlighting key action items?  Can you research new products to help decide whether to invest in new technology? All of these areas should be considered when looking at overall conference value.

5.  A Great Location

While not necessarily the #1 consideration on a conference attendee’s list, a great location can help add to the “draw” of a conference and boost attendance.  Who wants to be stuck in Topeka, Kansas for a week? (sorry, Topekans!) Larger cities offer a variety of entertainment options for your downtime like professional sporting events, zoos, museums, tours, concerts and plays and more that a smaller city can’t.  Check Yelp or Trip Advisor for recommendations on everything from great restaurants to ghost tours in the city where your conference is being held.

Don’t Miss LiveWorx 17

If you’re looking for a great technology conference to attend, don’t miss LiveWorx 17 where you’ll find a year’s worth of education in less than a week! LiveWorx is the premier IoT event for 6,000+ industry thought leaders, cutting-edge manufacturers, product development and service professionals, IoT innovators, developers and visionaries. Learn about the latest in IoT Strategies and Business Models, Industrie 4.0/Smart Manufacturing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Smart Connected Product Design and much more.

Register today