Hi Robyn. In a word – RELEVANCE. I try to find continuing education that is truly intended to CONTINUE my education 🙂 I think that too often, people will take something out of convenience instead of truly looking for VALUE (by ‘value’ I mean value to you and your practice). Focus on subjects that will help further your particular practice and the information you gain will serve you well.
I hope that this helps.
Location is a huge factor for me (if I am attending the workshop vs. doing an at home study course). I live in North Dakota and have limited options locally and have found that the closest ie. MN are not always the cheapest for travel.
Price – will it be cost effective. Is it realistic for me? have found volunteering at events – such as IDEA conferences can be a great way to attend the workshop and be more cost effective for me.
Relevant – while I may want to attend certain workshops because I would love to learn the latest in [insert topic here] can I actually apply it in my fitness center atmosphere.
Topic – I have a tendency to stick with what I think I know I like. I tend to to go workshops that are sponsored by the products I like and already use, workshops that I know will whoop my butt in the process of learning. I never really cared for the lectures as much as the ones with actual workouts. I suggest if you attend any conference take one workshop you know very little about. I recently attended IDEA West and took an SMR workshop with Justin Price, Only because it was the last session of the day and the 3 other assistants I worked with and got to know were attending. I would have never otherwise taken a workshop like that. It was the best thing I could have done. I learned something I knew nothing about vs learning something “newer” about a topic I was familar with. I now implement this information daily with myself and my clients.
Because I have to travel I really enjoy the large conferences. The networking and people you meet are a bonus ontop of the education and presenters. I highly recommend Empower! Fitness Conferences and after attending my first IDEA Conference I can’t imagine not attending another one.