Monday, June 23, 2008

Nonprofit Conferences- Are They Worth It?

It seems lately that I have been bombarded with notices of upcoming nonprofit conferences begging for my attendance (OK-not begging me specially). There’s the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Marketing Conference and the Orange Conference, and of course NTEN, which just took place. My question is: is the travel, time off of work, and expense worth it?

I attended NTEN last year, and was slightly disappointed at the amount of usable information I gathered from it. It was nice to network with other nonprofits, but I did not come back fully inspired. On the flip side, I attended SXSW Interactive last March and was completely blown away at all of the nerdy and useful info I was bombarded with as soon as I stepped in the Austin Conference Center.

Are the nonprofit specific conferences simply not worth it? Would I rather get my advice from Google and Facebook then other nonprofits? Sadly, right now the answer is yes.

I find that taking advice from those most successful at reaching the most people (usually of the corporate persuasion) and transitioning it to the nonprofit world is the way to go.

This does not mean you won’t find me at any upcoming nonprof conferences- you just might. However, it does mean that you will definitely find me at SXSW next year…twittering.