Monday, March 25, 2024

Six Tips for Making the Most of a Conference

1. Sign up for recreational outings

Conferences aren’t just about sitting in sessions; they’re an opportunity for networking and building relationships. Consider participating in recreational options and social activities organized as part of the conference. Engaging in shared activities, like a group hike or a biking excursion, can create memorable experiences and forge connections. I’m still friends with Andrew because we crashed mountain bikes at a conference!

2. Get familiar with the content

Maximize the value of each session by doing some preliminary research. Look up information about the speakers and topics scheduled for each session. Understand what you hope to gain from attending a particular session, whether it’s new knowledge, insights, or networking opportunities.

3. Focus on capturing key takeaways

Active note-taking during sessions is crucial, but the real value comes from distilling three key takeaways or action items as soon as possible after each session. This not only helps solidify the information in your mind but also provides a concise reference for implementing what you’ve learned once you’re back at the office on Monday morning. Don’t try to capture everything, just what’s most important and actionable for you.

4. Find out who will be there

Networking can be the most valuable part of a conference. Prioritize a few individuals you want to meet. Utilize social media or conference apps to identify attendees and proactively reach out. Connecting with specific people enhances the quality of your networking and can lead to meaningful professional relationships.

5. Hang out

It’s amazing how much opportunity comes from accidental collisions. Attend the official parties and informal gatherings during off-hours. Ask a lot of questions. And wear your nametag. It makes you more approachable and memorable.

6. Connect with speakers

Speakers are valuable resources and usually willing to engage. Take the opportunity to talk with them between sessions or during networking breaks. Express your appreciation for their insights, ask questions, and don’t hesitate to connect on LinkedIn. Building a rapport with speakers not only expands your network but also provides access to their expertise beyond the conference.

By incorporating these six strategies into your conference approach, you’ll not only enhance your learning experience but also maximize the potential for valuable connections and collaborations. Conferences are not just about the sessions, they are about the people you get to meet.

Posted by Scot McRoberts at 3:12 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *