How to Save Money at Conferences

Working in the web development industry, I get a chance to go to at least one conference, seminar, or training class every year. This way I can keep up with the latest technologies and our company benefits from my acquired knowledge. However, convincing the company my conference of choice is worthwhile can be a problem. As with anything, money is an issue, and the company does not want to spend more than it has too. I am sure this is the same everywhere, so here are some cost saving ideas you can pass on to those holding the dough.

  • Buy one get one free. Oftentimes, conferences offer better pricing for groups, or they may give you one free admission for the price of two.
  • Pay early. T


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3 Responses to How to Save Money at Conferences

  1. ben says:

    There really is an art to convincing your boss that it is worthwhile to send you to a conference. It’s almost like a presentation. You need to show him or her what benefit they and the company will receive. It helps if you can show ways to save money as this goes to show that you are truly motivated to attend.

  2. Debbie M says:

    I often go to conferences on my own dime in fields that I want to be in but that I am not in yet, so of course my employer won’t pay. Except that I take paid vacation to do it.

    So I have no trouble meeting the early deadline for a cheaper fee.

    The main way I save money is on housing. I generally do not stay at the recommended hotel. One time I couldn’t find anything else, but once I stayed at a cheaper hotel down the street and twice I stayed at a hostel (they’re not just for youth anymore). Of course if the conference is nearby, you can stay at home.

    The other way I sort of save money is to make the trip my fun vacation trip for the year. Often the conference lasts for only part of the week. I take the whole week off and do sight-seeing the other part of the week. This way the transportation for my vacation is the same as the transportation to the conference.

    Look carefully at your housing/transportation combinations. For example, when I went to Disney World, I compared flying in, renting a car, and staying someplace cheap to flying in and getting free transportation to the cheapest Disney hotel. They ended up costing about the same, but the latter gave extra advantages like being closer to the park and being allowed to come or early or stay late at one of the parks each day. We also brought some food in our suitcases (nuts, etc.) because we knew we wouldn’t be able to get to a decent grocery store.

    I use all your other ideas (though I rarely save snacks) except I usually don’t know anyone else going to the conference to room with me. Another good thing about the conference meals is that it’s a good way to meet people and talk about things and get more good ideas.

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