by Jonathan Vatner | July 06, 2010

"Keep your eyes open when attending other conferences," says Brenda Jones, professional development coordinator for the National Association of Social Workers, Missouri Chapter ( Chat up the meeting planner; if she is planning to throw away the decorations or supplies, offer to take them off her hands for free or at a discount. And keep an eye on the trash bins; if the planner or attending suppliers are throwing out useful products, such as pens or trash bags, they might be happy to donate them to your next conference -- just ask!