According to the Convention Industry Council (pdf), in 2012 there were over 1.8 million business meetings, events and conferences held in the US attended by 225 million participants generating over $280 billion in spending. The volume of participants has grown 10% since 2009.
Clearly, the business conference industry is booming. The number of marketing and communications conferences alone is overwhelming compared to when I started attending and speaking at conferences in 2005.
Attending and speaking at business, marketing and client user conferences is a big part of our marketing and while there are changes with so many new, niche events popping up, I don’t think our conference participation will change. The challenge is, with so many conferences to choose from, which events provide the best return on investment? What makes a great business conference?