Meeting continuing ed requirements at trade shows
Is it possible to meet continuing education requirements at trade shows or conferences? What trends do you see in the future for trade shows or conferences?
In an era where more and more certifications require continuing education of some kind to maintain currency, your question is spot on the money. I do teach at NetWorld+Interop every year and also attend Microsoft and other vendor shows as required by the various publishers with whom I work. I have long had the rule that I go to no shows unless somebody else pays my way, simply because I work in a small company where days away from my desk must be offset with income from other sources than writing, proposing, or managing (which is how I make money while sitting at that desk.) Indeed, many certs now recognize trade show attendance -- but more so, participation in courses or conference tracks -- as a way to get continuing education credits. The more enlightened programs also recognize outside reading as a way to get credit and I recommend researching such requirements carefully when planning how to keep one's credentials (and knowledge base) current.
In the future, I see more conventions going virtual rather than real, and professionals concentrating travel dollars and time on those events where "in the flesh" attendance is most important to their career goals and to their employer's goals as well.
Thanks for asking, hope I answered or addressed most of your concerns.
This was first published in March 2003