Travel Blog Exchange, World Travel Market, World Domination Summit, Meet Plan Go, Travel Bloggers Unite. Do any of these ring a bell? They’re the most popular travel conferences that take place in some of the most unique places every year from Portland, Oregon to Austria or Italy. Conferences can have a lot to offer including an overwhelming amount of information and new trends in the travel industry, and with prices ranging as low as $10 per ticket to $500 and up for the typical 3-4 day conference, the real question is are they worth your time and money?
My suggestion would be to try a couple of conferences out to see if you like the atmosphere and the experience and decide for yourself whether you think travel conferences are worth it. They can be a great way to learn first-hand about the latest fads in travel, experience a new place you’ve never been, and an incredible networking opportunity to learn how about other travel bloggers’ stories and recommendations. Interactive conferences that have you up and about may be worth visiting year after year, as opposed to a lecture style setup in which you’ll have to sit through for 72 hours straight can be a lousy snoozefest.
If, at the last minute, you decide cannot or do not want to go, are you out of luck? Not necessarily. You always have the option to sell your ticket to those who may or may not be willing to pay more than what you did because demand is high at the last minute. If you go and find the experience is not for you, leave it out of your itinerary next time.
If you’re halfway across the world from where the conference is being hosted, it may not be wise to break the bank just for a 3-day trip when a live feed of the event will probably be broadcasted online the day of or the day after. Just prioritize what’s important to you.
After all, the downside to these conferences is that you have to take into account the cost of airfare, lodging, and miscellaneous spending money, in addition to the cost of the conference, and no matter how much you plan and budget, it can add up to be an expensive mess. Plus, after the conference is over, you may realize that the information presented was already old news to you. When you have friends going with you, it can be a lot more fun and easier on the wallet because you can split the costs.
This summer, I am attending the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon and TBEX in Keystone, Colorado for the first time and hoping to go to World Travel Market in 2013 in London. I went to Meet Plan Go Chicago back in October, despite battling an oncoming cold, and found it to be very personal and insightful to have people who have “been there, done that” give you the good and bad of long-term travel.
I’m looking forward to what these seminars have in store and will hopefully find them beneficial. Going every year may not be in the books for me, but I’ll be satisfied having attended at least once.
Which conferences have you been to in the past and which ones are you planning to go to this year? What have your experiences been like?