Tax season is over, and now the real work begins. The opportunity to work on your company, rather than “IN” your company, is abundant. You can accomplish that by networking and getting out to the multitude of conferences that are happening across the country.

The growth phase of the accounting industry is now, and the knowledge and education are rampant. However, many small, one-man firms have a difficult time with the cost, travel, days away from work, and ultimately, the ROI on your time.

A scan of the conference landscape will help you determine what is right for your company and where to put your conference dollars.  Here is a breakdown of the different types of conferences, when and where they are available, and the pros and cons that come with them:

Virtual Conferences

The popular item now is the “VCon,” or virtual conferences, that you can attend. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Cost: Little to no cost to attend; just sign up and away you go!
  • No Travel: Enjoy these Vcon’s from your own office. Plug-in ready?
  • Education: The self-pace allows you to learn now, with the ability to download and review later.

Cons:

  • Networking opportunity is not available, resulting in the loss of face-to-face communication.
  • The conference may be limited on the different levels of classes it offers. (i.e.: beg, moderate, advanced)

Some of the best VCon’s include the following:

Smaller Intimate Conferences

Want to experience a great, quality conference, but don’t have the time to spend a week doing so? Check out the smaller intimate conferences. Here are some pros and cons for the smaller, more intimate conferences:

Pros: 

  • Fantastic speakers and chances to interact
  • Lower fees

Cons:

  • Not as many peers for networking

Best Smaller Venue Conferences

Below are the best smaller venue conferences:

The Biggies: Grand Scale Conferences

Here is a list of the grand scale conferences:

Below are some pros and cons for grand scale conferences:

Pros:

  1. Networking galore with so many peers from different industries
  2. Technology and business information that will have your head spinning

Cons:

  1. Too many choices
  2. Time and Cost

One of the best things about all of these is the opportunity you have to check out the Apps and the vendors. The demos are terrific, and specials are readily available. Groups that often attend include TSheets (above), Hubdoc, Funding Gates, ScanWriter, LivePlan, Finagraph and Bill.com. The learning opportunities will surround you.

Take your pick, as the abundance is around us. There is CPE (continuing education credits) available with many of these conferences.

If you are headed to any of these, please reach out to me via my twitter handle @jazfun. I would enjoy meeting up with you and talking about conferences.

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