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What’s the most important element of a great leadership conference?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

What’s the most important element of a great leadership conference?

  • Awesome speakers and topics: 62%
  • Lots of vendors to interact with: 1%
  • Great breakout sessions: 22% 
  • Social and networking activities: 13%
  • Great venue and location: 2%
  • Other aspects like cost and giveaways: 1%

Content is King. With time being so limited, it’s important to get the most out of learning events and conferences. Folks were pretty clear that the best conferences are about speakers and topics first and foremost. Breakout sessions were a distant second but still hold a draw. And of course, the ability to network with colleagues is important too. If you’re not focusing first on content above all other things, you might not be attending the best conferences out there. Check out the agendas and the speakers before writing a conference off because of cost. Clearly you get what you pay for.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of  the upcoming book “The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”