I am often told about the great merits of attending professional conferences. Having never attended one myself, I can't write from experience. However, it seems like these events are beneficial in several ways ranging from learning about the newest techniques and tools, networking, job hunting as well as a bit of tourism. However, unlike some others, if I attend confernces in 2009, I will be paying for these entirely out of my own resources. As a graduate student in the field, it is difficut to get funding for these sorts of things.
Here's what I'm looking at attending next year:
Association of Canadian Archivists Annual Conference - to be held in Calgary, Alberta (May 14-May 17)
Canadian Library Association Conference - to be held in Montreal, Quebec (May 29-June 1)
Special Library Association Conference - to be held in Washington D.C. (June 14-17)
I would estimate that attending each of these would probably cost me around $1300-$1500, which is a fortune as a student. I wonder if there is some better way to decide which ones offer the best value or "return on investment." It is something that is difficult to decide, certainly.