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Selecting the most valuable conference to attend

It’s been a while since I went to a real professional conference (been to a number of one day seminars, presentations and demos), but not a real targeted conference. I think it’s time to change this and become more involved in the technology world outside my immediate area.
Also, considering that I’m planning to introduce additional improvements within our team getting involved in industry specific conferences in order to educated myself further and see what’s out there could prove beneficial to us.

I’ve looked into several conferences ranging from information technology in higher education to the technology industry in general. Some focus on applications, others on servers, some on web content while a few are technology support (help desk) driven. While they are all interesting to me I would like to narrow it down to a conference or two that I should try to attend next year. Here’s where I need your suggestions. Please share your experiences and knowledge when it comes to conferences that someone with the following focus can benefit from:

– Information technology in higher education
– Management of people, processes and technology
– Focus on technology support and process improvements
– Introducing new technologies and tools to improve user experience and internal operational environment

Even if you have only heard from your colleagues of a particular conference, but haven’t attended it yourself mention it here so that I could keep it as an option. Since in higher ed (and most other industries today) there is no money to waste and I would like to provide a tangible ROI to our college and as such this conference needs to be valuable.

As you can see, I haven’t listed any conferences I’m currently considering as I didn’t want to influence your opinions and suggestions.

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