How to get the most out of attending a conference?
Jan. 15, 2019, 3:34 p.m.
Attending interesting conferences can be one of the best things that you can do for your career development. Currently, the market is full of events for almost every kind of business. Attending conference is exciting but also overwhelming because of costs you need to cover and expectation that this event will result with some profitable knowledge or contacts. Going to a conference, be well prepared.
First of all, read the schedule in advance. Plan the day much earlier and make sure that you will avoid missing critical opportunities. There will be a lot of people playing important role in your business area so think who exactly you should meet, how to reach them and what would you like to tell. Don’t forget to bring your updated business cards!
If you want to fully benefit the conference you are attending, become visible. We are not living in the ideal world so not everyone can be a presenter but there are other options it’s worth to consider. Being a volunteer or workshop facilitator will help you to transform from ‘no name member’ to a person with name and identity.
While building relations with newly met people, don’t forget about maintaining the old ones! Both your customers, vendors and friends from similar business areas, if you notice that one of them will attend the same meeting, use it to hang out, meet or have a coffee together.
Last but not least, remember what you learn and if you want to be really present during the conference, put away your smartphone. Take key takeaways notes from each event and don’t be afraid of looking unprofessionally. During a long conference, it is difficult to count only on your memory. Taking notes will help you to remember what the core message from each lecture was about.