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Hi Imp,
I go to 1 or 2 per year for my job. But, I usually only go as a presenter or moderator, not just an attendee. They can be valuable, but for me, the value is in the connections with people or if I am learning a brand new topic.

I am actually in the middle of attending a local conference where I was a presenter and moderator. This was valuable because of the connections I made with some of the other attendees. We have set up additional meetings in the near future to coordinate resources that will help both parties.

I have also attended sessions on topics I was not very familiar to quickly update myself on what is the current state of the art for that particular topic. What research people are presenting now is what will be published in the near future. In particular, I find it interesting when the researchers talk about their future plans and what questions their research left open. This is sometimes what will be the mid term future.

c
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