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For those that attend these types of conferences on the regular - are they worth (in general) the business capital I'd have to spend to get approval, plus the BS of traveling?

Sometimes. I just finished one that I get paid to attend every year. For this one, I mostly enjoy reconnecting with a few people. Every year I end up exhausted from being around so many people even for just a few days.

In the long run, earlier in my life going to the regional and/or national conferences for my profession was pretty directly related to me moving into consulting on my own midlife.
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