The Practical Costs of Attending A Creative Conference (Part One: the Basics)

Have you ever attended a creative conference, or are you hoping to attend one in the near future?

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I’ve seen such beautiful connections made between attendees and heard about exciting learning opportunities with guest speakers that make it worthwhile, but I know that attending a creative conference comes at a cost – often, thousands of dollars.  

Why it’s important to know what it costs   

Knowing what it costs to attend a creative conference will help you spend with intention instead of regret.  And when we’re talking spending thousands of dollars, who wouldn’t appreciate full disclosure upfront?

The 4 basic costs

So, when it comes to spending for a creative conference, there are 4 basic costs: conference fees, transportation, lodging, and meals + entertainment.

Let’s dive into the main components of each cost area below:

  1. Conference fee – This is the registration fee you pay to attend the conference. It’s often non-refundable and sometimes transferable to another attendee should you not be able to attend. For some intimate gatherings, the conference fee might also include lodging or meals. Make sure to read the fine print to see what’s covered in your fee.

  2. Transportation – Whether it’s air, train, bus, or car – factor in the cost of getting to and from the conference. Don’t forget to build in an allowance for taxis or Uber trips during the course of your travel and the cost of airport/station parking if you’ll need to leave your car.

  3. Lodging – Hotels are the most common option for those attending an overnight conference. So, your daily room rate plus taxes and incidentals is what you’ll need to account for. For more intimate gatherings, lodging might be included in the overall conference price.

  4. Meals + Entertainment – Include all meals you’ll pay for out-of-pocket, including snacks and drinks. This cost varies by individual.

Next week, we’ll continue the discussion of what it costs to attend a creative conference and take a look at the not-so-obvious expenses.  

I’d love to know – have you ever attended a conference?  If so, were you surprised about the final cost of attending?  Let’s chat about it on Instagram!

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