The cost of conference attendance

Last week I attended the New Adventures conference in Nottingham, as every man and his dog has blogged about their experiences already, I thought I’d do something a bit different and detail how much it cost for me to attend. After all, a lot of people don’t go to these events due to the cost.

Item Price
Total £265
Ticket price £80
Transport £20
Hotel (2 nights) £85
Food/drink entertainment £80

Note: I could have been really facetious and put in there the cost of missing 2 days of paid work but the whole purpose of setting a day rate is to make sure things like training, and R&D are covered by it.

Things of note

I chose to travel down the night before and stay the night of the conference too, therefore I had to get a hotel and this decision also increased my food/drinks costs too. I’m sure plenty of people who travelled down on the day spent much closer to £100 (ticket price + travel). I also chose to stay at the Nottingham Hilton (£40 one night and £45 for the other) because A: that’s how I roll and B: I predicted the breakfast would have been better and C: because I had delusions of making use of the on-site health centre; optimistic fool that I am.

I also opted to ask around on twitter to see if anyone from the Northwest was driving and could give me a lift in their car and share the cost of petrol/parking. Robert O’Rourke had some room in his car and that undoubtedly saved me a bit of cash – plus, it made the journey to/from the event much more enjoyable.

Excellent value

Compared to other events I’ve attended New Adventures was very cost effective; The lunch that they provided on the day of the conference was substantial enough and good quality and the free bottled water/tea/coffee was also very much appreciated.

Venues chosen for pre/post parties and the conference itself were all within walking distance of each other and the city centre too so there was no need to purchase any tram/bus tickets to get around.

Last but not least there was a free bar at the after party which lasted a good few rounds.


As someone who often finds it difficult to justify business costs I can definitely recommend New Adventures conference; £265 is not a large outlay and the benefits of attending an event like this – the inspiration you can draw from it and the contacts you can make easily make it worth the money. Nottingham as a venue was a good choice – conferences in London/Brighton, great as they are often end up costing a lot more due to increased hotel prices and public transport costs.

I expect this conference to return next year, for it to sell-out quicksharp and I think it’d be bonkers if they kept the price at £80 per ticket but frankly the price is so cheap there is scope for a increase without scaring people away.

Further reading

Other people have articulated their experience of the actual event too so go read them:
Review by Simon Young
Review by Jake Smith

8 responses to “The cost of conference attendance”

  1. I ended up paying nearly your total amount for just 2 nights in the hotel!
    It was an enjoyable event nonetheless and I met some lovely people. Can’t wait for the next one.

  2. Luckily this time round work paid, however I’d definitely be happy to fund it myself next year; I had a thoroughly good day all around and compared to the much heavier outlay of some of the other conferences (fowd I’m looking at you!) it was great value for money.

    • Nathan, I’m glad work paid for you to go. One of the reasons for me showing the costs is the hope that some employees will show it to their bosses to prove that these things are too expensive.

  3. Considering a FOWD conference pass on it’s own costs far more than your total outlay, I would say that was a bargain and a half! I didn’t go this year but with the amount of buzz I will definitely be trying to head there next year.

    • Yes £80 is quite low. I’ll be honest, I did skedaddle quite quickly after the bar stopped being free – especially after I paid £6.20 for a double vodka and lemonade.

      As proof, I could further break down my food and drinks costs (note: the ‘entertainment’ was free) but I don’t think folks would find that too interesting!