Planning to Attend a Conference
As I am preparing to attend the GeoDomain Expo in Chicago in July and the TRAFFIC conference in New York in September, I would like to offer some advice to those who are planning on attending. Most conferences are expensive, and coupled with airfare and hotel registrations, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before attending.
Usually it can save quite a bit of money by registering early, so I recommend reviewing the upcoming conferences far in advance and using the early bird registration option. Most of the big domain and related conference websites have the dates and locations of upcoming conferences many months in advance. If finances are a big issue, try to attend a conference closer to home to avoid paying airfare.
In the past, I’ve used Farecast to find the best prices on airfare. The cool thing about that site is that it gives prices for various airlines, and it recommends whether you should buy the tickets now or wait based on their experiences. I’ve also found that you can save money by booking your hotel using the special conference rate, which is usually less expensive than you can find elsewhere. If the conference is in a big city with good transportation, you can usually save money by booking at a different hotel, but make sure it’s close enough (and safe enough) so that you can get home in the wee hours of the morning. I wouldn’t recommend staying in the Lower East Side during TRAFFIC, for example, because you will spend much more than you saved on cab fare alone.
As most people will tell you, conference attendance is about networking and meeting with old and new friends. Most of the panels offer valuable information and advice, but the primary reason I attend conferences is to meet with friends who I might see only one or two times a year. I would recommend reaching out to people with whom you want to meet to let them know you are planning to attend the conference. It’s likely that the person or people will be more than will to meet and chat with you at some point during the conference. While it’s nice to have a short conversation in passing, it’s even better if you make plans to speak ahead of time.
For the GeoDomain Expo, I am excited to listen to the panels and learn as much as I can. While I’ve received a tremendous amount of advice from the Castello Brothers, Rob Grant, Jessica Bookstaff, and several others, I am not an expert geodomainer yet. I want to learn how I can operate and grow my two geodomains, and I want to meet with the companies that offer products or services to help develop my geodomains. Take some time to scope out who will be in attendance and who will be speaking on the panels. If you make plans to go “off campus,” make sure you aren’t missing a panel of interest. Make appointments with sponsors and other exhibitors if you want to learn about the company or products. It’s usually easy for them to take a few minutes outside of the exhibition hall, but you should ask ahead of time so they can be prepared.
I am getting excited to attend the GeoDomain Expo and TRAFFIC. I’ve only attended a few conferences, but I’ve never, ever been disappointed with them. Each conference is a unique experience, and I think they are well worth the expense if you are serious about the industry or want to get serious about the industry. Almost all of the serious domain investors and developers attend the conferences, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from the professionals in a personal setting.
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