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.