Recently I shared some thoughts on how I think you could get the most out of any conference you attend. I suggested that often the ‘out of session’ #Lobbycon chats are a great place to learn from others that are sharing some of the same challenges in your business that you might be.
I’ve put some other tips together that I hope will be of help to you.
Taking an office colleague, friend or a conference buddy can be a great way to make sure you don’t miss the good stuff. Pick a conference colleague who is a great note taker and agree to share notes during the event. Make time to sit and share your notes and get the note takers thoughts on their take aways from the sessions they attend. You could double your learning and get to see the presentations through another set of eyes.
Picking your sessions wisely is really important. – There are usually several break out sessions. Some will be more important to you than others. Chose them wisely with your first preference locked in early through the registration area at the relevant time. Some sessions fill quickly. Study the agenda early and get in fast.
Start with a goal in mind. Don’t try and do everything. Research the event speakers before you attend. Checking their bio out or snippets of past sessions they may have been recorded on YouTube is a really good way of working out if a speaker is best for you or if you could better schedule that time for catching up with other attendees.
Make Technology your friend. Iphone and Ipad Apps such as ‘AudioNote’ are great to record parts of sessions that you want detailed notes from. Also, you could use your phones video camera to capture snippets and highlights and watch them back later. You have a great device to help you. Now is a great time start some great habits and acquaint yourself with its features.
Share your learning via social media. Much of the new world behaviour is built around sharing information freely. Its called ‘Giving to Get’. Think about sharing your conference learning with your friends and family using social sites like Twitter, Facebook or on your blog if you’ve joined the bloggosphere. The rewards from sharing valuable information with others can be heart warningly good. It also shows others that you are a giver and treat your conference attendances very seriously. Somebody somewhere will gain value from the information you share. Don’t be afraid to share using social. It is actually really cool to do so. Try it. I’m sure you’ll like helping others!.
Finish each day with a review. Take half an hour at the end of each day to prioritise what you plan to enact when you get back to the office. You won’t be able to do it all, and by the conference end you may have forgotten day 1.
Stagger your implementation plan. Once you’ve decided what you’d like to enact on your return to your business its important to set achievable timelines to action things. Set 1, 2 and 3 month goals to ensure that you do what you determine and diarise them, set measures of success, and make sure you delegate where you can. You might not be able to actually do everything that you learnt at your conference, so get your team to help. Set your team some reasonable goals and be clear on your expectations and the date on when you want them delivered.
Work hard and play hard. You’re a friend of this blog so I don’t think I need to add any tips here. My conference mates seem to have nailed this piece already.
Do you have any conference tips to share?.. Feel free to leave them in the comments area below. I’d love to hear them and to share them amongst our blog friends.