In 2018, more than 80 child education conferences took place in the United States.
The annual event, which is sponsored by the Child Education Foundation of America, is held in more than 100 cities across the country, including New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
The event draws more than 1,000 educators from across the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.
As of March 2018, there were over 50 child education conference events in the U.S., according to Child Education Trends, which tracks the growth of child education events.
As with many events, the growth has been fueled by the proliferation of online education platforms.
For example, online education platform Khan Academy raised over $1.2 billion in funding during the first nine months of 2018, according to research firm IDC.
However, according in a 2017 study, the number of U.K. child education leaders has dropped by 50% since 2012.
As a result, the conference industry has experienced a sharp decline in attendance.
“For many child educators, conferences have become less about getting the word out and more about having an easy-to-follow and engaging way to meet with colleagues,” says Laura Kohn, vice president of events at the Child Development Education Association, a trade group representing more than 50 child development professionals and education leaders.
“In this environment, conferences tend to be a lot more about a conference atmosphere and not much about what the content is.”
The conference industry is facing growing competition from online educational platforms like Khan Academy, where the platform offers its conference attendees the opportunity to create a personal profile of their child’s education, or the Udemy Learning Academy, which aims to build an online community of educators and provide training in a variety of subjects.
However the trend toward online education has been a boon to conferences, as it allows conference attendees to connect with and connect with fellow child educators.
For the conference business, it also means that the industry can have more visibility and reach, says Lauren Wieden, vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Association of American Publishers, which represents over 80 publishers, publishers’ trade associations, and other industry leaders.
She points out that the number one benefit of conference attendance is the ability to gain access to more attendees, especially when they have multiple networks of friends and colleagues.
“There’s more visibility, which can be an advantage for conference attendees, and we have more connections,” Wiede says.
“We also have more support, which I think is a big benefit.”