Not quite free

Last week I attended two conferences, both in London and both “free”. Great conferences and certainly useful and interesting to attend. I got a lot out of them and will be bringing what I gained back into my work. However they weren’t exactly free, they had costs, costs that in these economic times may not always be possible to secure funding for those costs.

In order to attend the conferences I needed to travel to London, which if you want attend the start of the conference is often not cheap. Though I can travel to London and back off peak for about £55, to travel at peak times can cost £168! In addition there are tube costs and coffee to buy. And if you are going to buy a coffee, you will probably want to buy a cake too.

The other cost is travel time, about three hours each way for me, so I am spending a good part of the day (and evening) travelling. Yes it is possible to do some kind of work on the train, but generally it is not the ideal environment. Now these were just one day events, imagine the additional costs in terms of time and money if this was a four day conference.

So when you look at the £50 cost for the JISC Innovating e-Learning 2010 Online Conference you can see that this is not just good value, but is much cheaper than many “free” conferences. This makes it much easier to justify to your institution.

There are advantages to attending the conference, but reduced travel and accommodation costs, no travel time and no need to leave the office, is a key advantage.

Of course the real value of the online conference is the programme, one that will inspire and challenge you. It has variety and interest.

So if it is proving difficult to attend all the conferences you want to, one you shouldn’t miss is the JISC Innovating e-Learning 2010 Online Conference.

Find out more.

2 thoughts on “Not quite free”

  1. agree. There will be more online conferences once people have decent connections. Its the future. It won’t happen while a third of the UK is sub 2meg. many struggling still on dial up. We need fibre to the home, and we need it now. Not in another couple of decades, which is what will happen if its left to BT.
    You only have to look at what they are going to do in Cornwall, bonded copper pairs to the rurals. With public money too. Its a scandal waiting to happen, and if any other RDAs or councils fall for it then we are never gonna get NGA in this country. I hope you mention this at the JISC conference, because it is very important if eLearning is going to move forward.
    rant over

    1. HI Chris

      Though the live presentation parts of the online conference do work better with a decent internet connection, the asynchronous aspects of the conference (text based) work fine over very slow internet connections. I have at previous conferences taken part on dial-up, a sub 1Mb ADSL connection and 3G. It is certainly possible to have a stimulating and challenging discussion using the text interface of the conference. The live presentations will also be recorded so will be available later if you have at the time a poor connection.



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