The newsLINK Group - Maximizing Your Experience at a Conference

Editorial Library Category: Associations & Membership Topics: Conference and Event Attendance Title: Maximizing Your Experience at a Conference Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: When you go to a conference, you are trading your time for an opportunity. It’s also possible that you, or the company you work for, are also paying money just so you can have this specific experience. As a general rule, therefore, don’t go to any conference unless what you’ll give up is less than what you’ll get. Editorial: Maximizing Your Experience at a Conference 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 When you go to a conference, you are trading your time for an opportunity. It’s also possible that you, or the company you work for, are also paying money just so you can have this specific experience. As a general rule, therefore, don’t go to any conference unless what you’ll give up is less than what you’ll get. Once you do decide a conference is worth time and money, you’ll want to maximize the experience as much as possible, but what’s the best way to do that? Fortunately, all you really need to do is think of an overall goal or two that you want to accomplish while there; decide what to do before, during, and after the conference; and be willing to adjust your plans when necessary once you arrive. It’s that simple. Here are some common goals that might make attending a conference worthwhile: Building a relationship with potential customers Checking out the competition Finding a new job Getting ideas so you can create new content. Learning Motivating yourself to solve problems at work Networking Many of these goals have a considerable amount of overlap. For example, learning is strongly related to getting new ideas, motivating yourself, or finding out what the competition is doing. Networking is useful for everything that involves other people. That includes job hunting and building a relationship with potential customers. Each of the following sections will give you some suggestions for what to do before, during, and after the conference, based on what you want to achieve. What you do will depend a little on what your goals are. Narrow down the list of possibilities, though, so you have a better chance at succeeding. Before the Conference When most people attend a conference, they want to learn and, possibly, create content later. Secondary goals might be teaching what you learn to those who won’t be attending, improving specific skills, or improving your knowledge about a topic or an industry. Someone who is looking for a new job or new customers will want to spend time networking. To prepare yourself, choose applicable items from the following list: Research the speakers and see if you can locate some videos to watch. If you are interested in checking out the competition, find out who will be attending, and also try to find out what other companies are planning for the conference. Decide what you want to learn or write about, and write a list of questions that you’d like to be able to answer. Are you looking for a job? Update your resume and make some copies of it to hand out. Do some research about the companies that will be represented at the conference, and if you can, write a list of people from each company. If you are generating content, arrange a question-and- answer session on social media during the conference with as many of your expert sources as possible. If you want to find new customers, put together a fantastic demo of your product, and take it with you to the conference. Is anyone else you know attending the conference so you could both gather more information? If so, then talk and coordinate your efforts. Look at the materials for the conference. Based on what you want to learn, decide which sessions you should attend, while paying particular attention to who the scheduled speakers are. Also think about who else you would like to talk to at the conference, such as some of the speakers, existing customers, potential

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NjAyOTE=