Editor’s Note: We’ve updated this article for ChannelCon 2018. Hope to see you there!
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably an IT professional. And, as an IT pro, you know that staying on top of continuing education and training in this field is everything.
That said, attending industry conferences like (shameless plug) CompTIA ChannelCon in Washington D.C., July 31 to August 2, should be a no brainer. But, let’s face it, if you’re not local, getting to these conferences can cost a pretty penny. Here’s some tips on how to maximize the benefits of attending education and networking events while saving some dough.
Take advantage of early-bird discounts, freebies and promotional offers
Most conferences give you a discounted rate on certain hotel reservations by a certain date. Some give you an early bird reservation rate or better rates when you bring more people – kind of like shopping in bulk! And others just flat out give you money back!
This year, CompTIA AITP members receive a 10 percent discount on ChannelCon registration. When you register for ChannelCon and reserve your hotel room by Monday, July 9, you can receive the CompTIA discounted rate. Rooms may fill up prior to this date, so make your plans early to take advantage.
Stay a little further out
Sure, the convenience of staying at the hotel where the event is taking place often trumps the additional cost. But, if you’re counting those dollars, consider staying at a less expensive hotel and taking advantage of free shuttles, splitting an Uber or Lyft ride with a group, or even getting some exercise and walking! Sharing a room with a colleague is also an option.
If the discounted rate at the Marriott Wardman Park is still beyond your budget, go to your favorite travel website and see what else is nearby. One of the benefit of attending an event in Washington, D.C., is that you can find more than 50 hotels within a half mile of ChannelCon. And the event is walking distance from the Metro’s Woodley Park-Zoo stop on the Red Line, so that opens up your options even more if you don’t mind a subway ride.
Eat and drink on site
Event planners know they need to provide plenty of food and drink to make attendees happy and the event a success. Getting to the venue early for that continental breakfast bar and staying on site for lunch keeps cash in your wallet. It also keeps you in the mix – some of the best networking conversations happen during these breaks! Many events also have evening cocktail receptions – a great way to meet new people before you go out to dinner. Your ChannelCon registration includes a buffet breakfast and lunch every day and a reception every night!
Watch the add-on fees in the air
If you are flying to your event, consider carrying on your luggage, using drink coupons or opting for a free choice of beverage instead. If you’re traveling alone, getting a seat should be pretty easy, and you shouldn’t have to pay extra for early boarding or preferred seating privileges. Also, think about where you’re going. Is it more cost effective to fly into a major airport, or could you save some money by flying into a regional airport and driving the rest of the way?
Consider your ROI
Yes, attending these industry events costs money. But, is it money well spent? At ChannelCon, for example, IT pros are encouraged to attend the IT Pro Track Powered by CompTIA AITP that provides critical understanding of technical challenges and opportunities facing IT pros today. You’ll also earn continuing education units (CEUs) toward the renewal of your CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certifications.
If you’re sold, but you still need to convince your boss, download this letter template as a starting point to get the ball rolling and reserve your place in Washington, D.C.! We hope to see you there!
Register for ChannelCon 2018 today!