November 16, 2006 ·
I've seen a few comments about the cost of CFUNITED and the earlybird closing date. In the past, it's not been something I've paid much attention to because I've always attended as a speaker and always gotten all my material in on time so TeraTech comps the fee and the hotel. If you don't get your act together as a speaker, they still comp the conference but you pay for your hotel! So let's take a look at the prices... The Frameworks Conference is up first in early February. Early bird registration is $399 thru January 5th with $50 off if you've been before. The hotel is $194 per night and let's assume you have to be there two nights (for most out-of-towners, that will be the case). That's $737 or about $370 per day of training which isn't a bad price really. Now let's look at CFUNITED 2007. Same location, same hotel so we can assume the same price (it doesn't currently list the room rate). It's a four day conference, with the earlybird of $849 thru December 31st (odd that it closes before the F/W conf, even tho' CFUNITED is much later in th year). Alumni get $100 making it $749 if you book early. Again, assume we need a hotel each night so that's $776. A total of $1,525 or about $380 per day of training. Again, that's still not a bad price for training really.I won't be attending the Frameworks Conference - far too much to do here in Hosted Services to even contemplate a conference that early in the year! - and I have not had time to submit a topic for CFUNITED (again, too busy - I missed the call for speakers deadline). I'm on the conference advisory board for both conferences so I'm supporting them as much as I can. Last year was a tough one for me: three conferences (cf.Objective(), CFUNITED, MAX) and a lot of CFUGs (and I mean a lot!). It really does take a toll. That's why I didn't rush to get a topic submitted. I may yet be asked to speak as part of Adobe's sponsorship but I may just take a raincheck this year. So would I attend either conference, given that I'm not speaking at either? That's a tough call for me. Like most people, I have a limited training budget and have to be very selective of conferences that I attend (rather than speak at). I have to decide what value I will get out of a conference and weigh that against the impact of being out of the office during that time... A conference has to be pretty high profile for me to justify taking time out to attend. In the past, I've chosen Java One, Software Development West and the O'Reilly Enterprise Java conferences as ones worth attending. In particular, SD West is extremely valuable to me, even tho' it's not a ColdFusion conference (it's pretty hardcore C++, Java and Design Patterns). SD West 2007 is in mid-March and it's very local to me. It's probably the most leading edge software development conference of the year on the West Coast (there's an SD East as well each year). All told, SD West 2007 will probably be my one conference of the year that I'll choose to attend. However, I've also been invited to speak at cf.Objective() 2007 and I enjoyed that conference a lot last year. I got a lot out of it too, as it covered much more advanced ColdFusion material than I've found at other ColdFusion conferences (with the exception of one or two talks at CFUNITED 2006). I'd probably choose to attend cf.Objective() 2007 even if I wasn't speaking! The airfare to Minneapolis is half that to Washington, DC (from here on the West Coast) and the conference is very, very reasonably priced. In fact, let's do the same price analysis for cf.Objective() 2007 as we did for the other two conferences above: The earlybird is $395 for three days (not sure of the end date on that but I'd expect it to be good thru the end of February based on the overall conference schedule) and the hotel is just $109 per night. That's $722 for three days or about $240 per day of training. Now that's an awesome price for training!