Ten Ways to Make the Most of a Conference
Do you come prepared to learn… or to be entertained?
Do you go to workshops, conferences and seminars?
Are they beneficial or just a waste of time and money?
Every year I attend and speak at conferences. Conferences and seminars are great ways to expand your knowledge as well as your network. Each conference provides me with new ways to coach, teach and empower others to live their calling with passion and purpose.
I used to just show up at a conference and hope it would be worthwhile. Of course, I would research the speaker and topic but ultimately I expected to be informed and entertained. Not any more. Now I come actively prepared to learn. What does that mean? First of all it means that I don’t show up just expecting to sit back and take it all in. Instead, I plan ahead and come ready to be actively involved. Here are ten ways you can also maximize your next conference experience:
- Review the schedule and plan your time. Get to sessions early if you expect them to be crowded and sit in the front of the room.
- For any given topic, have a list of questions you would like to have answered. Ask them.
- If you attend a conference with a friend make sure they are as eager to learn as you are. Don’t let them distract you from the subject. Make sure you spend time apart so that you meet new people.
- Take business cards. Give them away. Ask other people for their cards. Make a note on the back that will help you remember the person.
- Know your elevator speech: Who you are, what you do and why you are here
- Take pre-stamped postcards or cards to use as Thank You cards for speakers or other people that you meet. Write them while the material is still fresh and send them right away.
- Never eat alone. Invite someone you don’t know to eat with you. Invite a speaker to lunch.
- Identify the new people you meet that you want to stay in touch with and reach out quickly via one of the social media platforms.
- Take the time to thank the speakers for the insights they have shared.
- Take something to give away: your book, a link to an eBook, something more memorable than your business card. Share it!
Need a trainer for a staff development session on personality style, communication and crucial conversations? I’d love to talk with you:) Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what participants say about my presentations:
I was delighted to meet you and liked your method to get people involved. I have been attending monthly foster parent training for a lot of years and haven’t met anyone to get that group out of their seats like you did. I hope to see you for additional training on campus. –Bob