TLDR: Doesn't matter what asset class (MF, hospitality, office, whatever). At what level should you start getting invited to, and attend, paid industry conferences?
The question could really go a few ways:
- At what level did you start getting invited to attend industry conferences?
- At what level do you feel you should have been invited to attend industry conferences?
- If applicable, at what level do you feel your younger staff should be invited to attend industry conferences?
To frame this up, I've seen a lot of companies set the bar at VP-level and above. For example, Company X sends their VPs and above to the annual hotel conference, all expenses paid. Is VP-level and above the standard?
I always feel that it would be nice for lower level Analysts-Associates to attend to start building a network and really contributing to the firms growth. It also shows who can cut their teeth in the social settings with big players in an industry where this will undoubtedly play a major role at some point. I get there are downsides and risks associated with sending younger staff, but just getting a temperature of your experiences/insight.
I guess if you really want to get into it, just blindly sending all VP-level staff and above, some of whom could be duds, seems like more of a waste of time and resources vs. sending your rock star Analyst/Associate. This angle can be debated too.