Attending educational events and conferences is a necessary right of passage for IT professionals. You can’t count yourself among the career professional set if you don’t set yourself a learning and networking schedule. It’s important time to get out of your own head, your comfort zone and learn something new, anticipate the future and level set against the competition. Doing so doesn’t have to be expensive. Anyone can afford to do it.
Some in the list below are technical and some are business. You need to attend a mix. In general the business ones are going to cost you a few dollars because they aren’t trying to sell you. While the technical ones are generally free, remember that there will be a vendor slant because the vendors paid the bills to make the event happen.
I surveyed my contacts, via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and mailing list amounting to near 15,000 contact points to ask which low-cost conferences they thought provided the best value. The top one without doubt was ChannelPro SMB Forum. It’s unequivocally #1 however it was followed very closely by the SMB TechFest. The rest all have their fans too. I’ve been to many of these over the years and each has its strong point. You can’t go wrong attending any of them. Other than those top 2 in no particular order here’s what people said are the best.
|ChannelPro SMB Forum||https://events.channelpronetwork.com/events||free||Multi-city|
|SMB TechFest||https://smbtechfest.com||free||Orange County, California|
|IT Owners Compass||https://itocompass.com/||$299 earlybird||Chicago Illinois|
|Small Biz Thoughts Community Meetings||https://www.smallbizthoughts.org/register/||Membership or $99||Multi-city|
|Silicon Valley Code Camp||https://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/||free||San Jose, California|
|CompTia ChannelCon||https://www.comptia.org/events/view/comptia-channelcon-2019||membership||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Microsoft Ignite The Tour||https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ignite-the-tour||free||Multi-city|
|Xchange||https://www.thechannelco.com/events||free||Las Nevas, Nevada|
|CES||https://www.cta.tech/Events.aspx||free||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Any vendor specific conference or expo||See the events page of your favorite vendor or ask your rep||Free usually||Multi-city|
About Third Tier
Open a ticket with us! Established in 2008, Third Tier only works for IT Professionals by providing them with access to advanced support services. No one can know it all these days, so we give IT pros a place to go to get the hands on support they need in areas they normally don’t work in or problems they’ve never encountered. We also work on projects, fix their accounting practices and do many, many migrations and other installations. Our staff covers a wide range of technologies.