I’ll show you one way to figure it out. I’m sure there are others, but this is a practical one I’ve used in the past:
Step 1: Fill out your current Wheel of Life
On a scale of 0 to 10, how satisfied are you with your life in each of these pillars?
(If some of these pillars are irrelevant to you, you can choose different ones)
Step 2: Fill out your ideal short-term and long-term Wheel of Life
Where do you want to be 3-6 months from now? How about 2-3 years from now? Fill out another Wheel of Life for these two periods.
A good rule of thumb is to try to increase the total points by about 1.5 per month at most. In 6 months, you can realistically increase by a total of 9 points.
Step 3: Scan and analyze the conferences activities and speaker profiles
For each of the talks and workshops, identify in which areas of the Wheel of Life it can help you with. As much as you can, try to figure out by how many points it will increase each area for you in the short and long terms.
Are those areas the same you wanted to improve in step 2 just above?
And going beyond that, most conferences allow you to have a chat with the speakers after. These speakers have a wealth of knowledge they probably didn’t have the time to share with you during the event. If you Google the speakers, chances are you’ll be able to see everything they do. Could they also help you in other areas of your ideal Wheel of Life if you spoke with them at the conference?
Another thing to look at is the extra stuff you get from attending the conference. Nowadays, most conferences give you access to private groups, give you a manual/guide, have follow-up webinars, and distribute partner freebies — which are oftentimes worth more than the admission price!
Step 4: Identify how much each increment of an area is worth for you
Identify that for each area using a table like this one:
Step 5: Do some simple math to figure out if it’s worth your money
Now that you know your personal value of each point, it’s time to add up the total value you think you can get out of the conference. Let’s use the following example:
Then I look at an event like the Montreal Personal Growth Summit, for example, and I identify how I can improve the following areas in the short-term (this is a personal reflection):
- Career: 1 point
- Finances: 1 point
- Health: 1 point
- Family and Friends: 0 point
- Romance: 0 point
- Personal Growth: 2 points
- Fun and Recreation: 0 point
- Physical Environment: 1 point
Total value of the event on the short-term for me:
- Career: 1 x $100
- Finances: 1 x $100
- Health: 1 x $80
- Personal Growth: 2 x $100
- Physical Environment: 1 x $75
Total value = $555
In the long-term, I think I could get an extra point of value in Personal Growth and Career, increasing the long-term value by $200.
Step 6: Make sure the value you can get aligns with what you wanted to improve
If you compare steps 2 and 5, do they match? Does the conference you are evaluating improve the areas of value to you?
For example, in step 5 above, if I didn’t care for improvements in Finances and Health (in my ideal Wheel of Life), for example, the event really loses a value of $200 for me.
Step 7: Is the event worth it?
Assuming the value aligns in step 6, you can use this simple format to decide if it’s worth it or not:
[Value of event] – [Price of event] > 0?
If the value minus the price is above 0, that means you get more value than you pay for. You should go!
If the value minus the price is way below 0, don’t go. It’s not an event for you at the moment.
If the value minus the price is below 0, but close to it, it might still be worth it to go. The connections you make at these events can drastically improve their value. It’s hard to plan for meeting the right connections, but when it happens, it can completely change your life. That alone, to me, is worth a couple hundred bucks!