Make the Most of a Conference
Do you love attending conferences that get you fired up and energized?
Do you leave a conference and a few days later wonder where the momentum went?
Do you wish you could bottle the information and energy of a great conference?
Stephen Covey in his Seven Habits of Highly Successful People identifies the key habit of Sharpen the Saw. This means to always be learning and growing. A key characteristic of high achievers is that they recognize the value of investing in themselves in order to create the life they want and achieve their goals. Dan Miller was the first coach I knew that recommended a budget item for self improvement and I’ve followed this advice for years.
Make the Most of Your Next Conference
I used to show up at a conference and hope it would be worthwhile. I would just sit back and take it all in. Not any more. Now I come actively prepared to learn. What does that mean? To really get the most out of a conference, plan ahead, come ready to be actively involved and set an intention for the conference. Think about what information you want to walk away with.
Here are some tips I use to maximize my 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. Lots of 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!
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