How to Make the Most Out of Your Next Conference

10.27.2016 »
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Conference agenda, laptop and notepad

We all know attending conferences is a great way to stay up to date with current information and new trends in your industry – but are you making the most of your time? Here are a few tips to help you become a conference pro!

  1. Divide and Conquer
    • If you’re going with multiple people from your company or even someone else you may know in your industry, why not split up and go to different sessions? It’s easy to stay with who you know and attend the sessions together – but if there are multiple sessions that would benefit your business, each of you attend one and swap notes afterwards.
  2. Take good notes
    • This isn’t only important if you divide and conquer, this is a general best practice so you can recap what you learned after the conference is over. Your notes will also help you determine if you’d attend this conference again next year. Bonus tip: after you get back to the office, compile the top things you learned and if it was a good ROI. That way when you’re going through your budget for the next year, you can quickly go through your conferences from the previous year and decide which ones to include again.
  3. If your notes are less than stellar, contact the presenter
    • Some conferences automatically send out slide decks from each presenter, but if they don’t, don’t be afraid to contact them on your own. I’ll be the first to admit I never used to do this, but then I realized the presenters came to share their knowledge, so why shouldn’t I reach out if I have questions or missed some of the information? This can also lead to increased networking potential.
  4. Ask questions about the session if you aren’t sure what exactly will be covered
    • The last conference I went to, there was a particular session that the title didn’t provide much information on the session. If you’re deciding between multiple sessions or even reading through the sessions before you make a decision to attend the conference, contact the organizer to learn more!
  5. Network, network, network!
    • Most people do network, but are you using all of the opportunities you can? For example, if you’re attending the conference with 4 members of your team – don’t all sit at one table. I’m not saying you all have to go individually, but you can sit two & two to meet more people.
  6. Network after you network.
    • One of the speakers at my last conference said “The best time to network is when you don’t need to,” and I think this applies at conferences too. Of course the tables we sit at and post-conference happy hours are prime networking opportunities, but what about after the day is over? If it’s an overnight conference, go to dinner with some of the new people you met or take advantage of the activities post-conference. I happened to be at a casino for this conference so my coworker and I made a point to network at the blackjack table!

There you have it, 6 quick tips to make the most out of your next conference.

What tips do you have? Share yours with us on social media!


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