Set to attend a conference in the coming months? Be sure to make the most of it! It’s an opportunity to network with your peers, to expand your knowledge and to potentially meet new clients. It’s an investment…
It’s not just a matter of showing up either. It’s up to you to yield the benefits of the conference.
As conference organisers, we’d urge you to set objectives and to venture outside your comfort zone. Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of this conference? Is it three new connections? A better understanding of a new development in my industry? Or to share an idea I’ve got with my peers?
Here are six ways you can maximise your conference experience and achieve your attendance goals:
The full conference program should be released several months in advance. Make sure you review the program to understand what’s on offer.
We’d also encourage you to do your research to understand your speakers backgrounds and expertise. In doing so, you’ll be able to prioritise certain sessions over others. From there, you can build your personal “conference schedule”.
Get a coffee, register early and get your bearings before the opening session. Depending on the venue, your breakout rooms could be side by side or across multiple levels.
Have a notepad, pen and highlighters at the ready! You’ll normally find these tools in your conference bag. If you’re a speed racer when it comes to typing, why not utilise your laptop or iPad?
Download the conference App to unlock a variety of features. You may be able to partake in live surveys, submit questions during sessions and stay connected with other delegates.
Videos, presentation slides and handouts are normally made available after the conference. If not, there is no harm in asking!
Don’t be shy. You’ll have the opportunity to make new connections with like-minded people. Breakout sessions, networking functions and tea breaks are your best bet. If you’re staying at the conference’s preferred hotel that’s an added bonus!
You’ll definitely need your business cards at the ready, alternatively you can connect with people on Linkedin. In saying that, ensure your Linkedin profile is up to date and relevant.
Social media is your friend. We’d encourage you to be active on social media before, during and after the conference.
Use the hashtag, engage in online conversations and interact with the conference’s social media platforms. Why not post a photograph of the plenary session on Instagram with the event hashtag?
In doing so, you’ll appear in the event feed which has the aptitude to drive delegates to your personal or company social media page. It’s also a great way to let your peers and clients know that you’re out and about learning. They’ll have a serious case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)…
Last but certainly not least, have fun! There’s cake pops to eat, prizes to win and people to dance with. Nine times out of ten, your conference will have networking drinks, a gala dinner or an excursion on offer.
Do you have any tips? Please share your experiences with us!