CIS Abroad Blog

Conferences: To Go, or Not To Go

If your inbox is like mine, it’s likely full of save-the-date reminders, RSVPs, and early bird offers. That can only mean one thing: conference season is here. Conferences can be wonderful. The best offer opportunities to gain knowledge, improve skills, and build stronger relationships with colleagues.  

If you are in the midst of conference travel planning, here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your attendance:

Review the schedule ahead of time. 

Highlight the sessions that are focused on areas that you are interested in, need to learn more about, or would be a benefit to your team. Making a plan ahead of time will help you feel less overwhelmed.

Review the list of attendees and schedule meetings early. 

Are you looking for new program partners or need to meet with existing partners?  Don’t leave meetings to chance. Get meetings on your calendar so you and your colleagues can be prepared and maximize your time together.
(Definitely add CIS Abroad to your schedule and check out our booth.) 

Outline expectations for all attendees. 

If you have more than one person from your team attending a conference, plan together and hold each other accountable. Decide who will be attending specific sessions, meetings, receptions, etc. Establish a shared digital space where you can organize your notes and resources. 

Share your knowledge. 

After the conference ends, make sure you have a time established for teammates to share what they learned. Perhaps it’s just a quick update in a team meeting, or maybe it’s a more lengthy debrief. 

There are also times when investing in a conference may not be the right decision for you or your team. Office budgets for conferences and professional development are often limited which may make it challenging for your entire team to get a conference opportunity in the same year. Others will say that they come away from conferences with good ideas, but need help implementing and executing them.

If you’re looking for a different experience for your team this year,  consider bringing our Consulting Services team to you! With our on-site training, you can provide essential professional development to the entire team. With options for team building, portfolio reviews, strategic planning, or specialized workshops, this is an affordable and effective way to keep your team engaged and motivated. Train your whole team for less than it would cost two staff members to go to a conference!

Conference vs On-Site Training Comparison Chart


Conference for 2 People

On-Site Training for Your Whole Office*

Registration Fee or Consulting Services Fee



Travel & Accommodations


(flights + 3 nights in hotel)


(Travel & accommodations for one consultant)




Total Estimate



Total Per Person (*using 5-person office as an example)