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The true value of industry conferences is that they create networking opportunities that cannot be gained in any other forum. Even though I am a strong proponent of social media, you cannot replace the dynamic interaction between two people who are sharing view points and ideas passionately. There is such a tremendous value in hearing ideas, tips and suggestions from those who either work at the ground level or are valued partners. Not every industry-related conference is for everyone, although every good marketer wants to believe it. The best industry-related conferences showcase presenters from a variety of sources and not just ones who have products to pedal or are footing the bill of the reception. Look for sessions that include economic-relevant data, have well thought out breakout sessions or time for mingling (and not just at the bar). It is very important to make sure that attendees are not lured to the education based on location.

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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