Spring is packed with business conferences and while I was attending one, I kept seeing many colleagues posting from another event spanning the same days. Feeling like missing out and torn between deciding which ones are better, you might have to decide your own priorities in choosing which conference will yield a better return on investment for your money and your time.

The criteria used here to select Spring 2016 picks for the Top 5 Must-Attend Rapid Growth Conferences is simply that conferences must have the following characteristics.

  1. Be packed with action-oriented workshops and seminars that are not sales pitches from the floor disguised as a workshop. They must be full of free content that is useful to building a strong business that can accelerate your growth quickly.
  2. Be run by great people with strong desires to serve entrepreneurs, help build successful businesses and out to build a community support system. They are in it for you first. Creating raving fans that sell out their next conference for them is a priority.
  3. Exposes you to people, services and tools at all business stages and budget levels. It is less important to attract a high-caliber keynote speaker then it is to attract quality members to build a network of great associations.

5 Must-Attend Rapid Growth Entrepreneur Conferences for Spring 2016

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Digital Footprint - April 8-10 - East Philadelphia, PA

Organized by an amazing husband and wife team, Ken Courtright and Kerri Courtright, the Digital Footprint is packed with details that can be the difference between being effective on-line or just being on-line. A digital footprint is the trail you leave on-line that tells what worked and what didn't. The conference is based on bringing you ways to you model your behavior that have proven to be successful increasing revenue, elevate your brand and generate qualified leads. Probably sold out by the time you are reading this, but don't despair, their West Coast event will be in October.

Young Entrepreneur Convention - April 22-23 - Des Moine, IA

With keynotes from big draws Kevin Harrington, an original Shark Tank shark and Entrepreneur On Fire, John Lee Dumas, this conference is the hot conference to attend to get inspired as a young entrepreneur. Conceived by Brandon T. Adams, host of the top-ranked podcast University of Young Entrepreneurs, the conference is meant to get those on the fence about diving into a an entrepreneurial venture to get inspired while they build a strong network and support system. A key draw and component is an Elevator Pitch Competition with coaching packages and prizes for the top three winners.

Small Business Festival - May 2-5 - Austin, TX

In conjunction with National Small Business Week, this festival combines free and paid events that force a much needed business break to pull out of the day-to-day and focus on new tech, tools and services that will grow profits, free up time and help you develop a better strategy for small business success. Coordinated by Matthew Pollard, rapid growth guru devoted to the power of small businesses and a team of "people who have actually done it," this festival is all business packed amid the festival fun.

CEO Space International - Forum May 15-22 - Henderson, NV

Words really can't describe the benefits of exclusive membership but you can start with a free local meeting in between their five yearly forums and experience the immediate results and connection value. CEO September Dohrmann has done an exceptional job of shifting what was already a tremendously beneficial program, founded by her husband Berny Dorhmann, to an organization full of action, accountability and fresh perspectives on every business challenge imaginable at any stage of business growth. There is something for seasoned business pros and start-ups alike and their free bonus classes for life allow graduate members to continuously pivot and learn. The roster of rotating faculty reads like a who's who of business success.

Mastermind LIVE - Beginning May 24-26 - San Diego, CA

This event is heading to a city near you over the next year. On a tour of 30 cities beginning on the West Coast in May, the Mastermind LIVE seminars offer the best of a big conference with keynotes and the relevancy of a workshop in your industry or area of interest. The brainchild of Mark Harris, CEO of the Thought Leadership Alliance based on the principles of leveraging world-class experts increases both your ability to succeed and the magnitude of that success. Coordinated by many of Mark's 12 children, very accomplished young women, the event is designed to give you valuable information and tools as well as access to experts and alliances who have walked before you and uncovered the path you need to get rapid results.

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One word of caution here though, letting your fear of missing out (FOMO) get the better of you and going on an all conferences binge is counter productive to your business. Really getting the most out of a conference and rapid growing your venture requires you to actually work your business.

Be really mindful that in the end money must be made and that the sales agenda may not be your agenda. To protect yourself, always wait a week after each conference before you commit to hiring anyone or spending any money to see what is still resonating as needed. Ask yourself this one key question - if you used this coach, service or product will it accelerate your business, save you money or protect you from costly rookie errors?