July 11, 2011

How to Design Your Perfect Conference Experience

Filed under: — lidia @ 2:14 pm
  1. Create your schedule: decide in advance which sessions you want to attend (as well as vendor tables) and mark your calendar or onsite agenda.
  2. Pack supplies: bring lots of business cards, a notebook and pens. A small pouch to store collected business cards is also handy.
  3. Make a list of people to meet: keep track of colleagues, vendors and speakers to connect with. A mobile app like Evernote is perfect for this.
  4. Refer to your agenda often: if necessary, set reminder alarms on your mobile calendar.
  5. Get out of your comfort zone: introduce yourself to a person you’ve wanted to meet: a speaker, someone you follow on twitter, etc.
  6. Collaborate with others: seek out situations where you can bounce ideas off others, i.e. speaker lunches, roundtable sessions.
  7. Be open to new ideas: listen to other people’s opinions, take a session you may not ordinarily choose.
  8. Talk to as many people as possible: you never know where that next great idea or resource will come from.
  9. Take lots of notes: include a running “to do list” of action items to take back to the office (see #14)
  10. Don’t burn out: take frequent breaks, drink lots of water—and if necessary, duck out of a session (inconspicuously, of course) that is draining your energy.
  11. Create a “follow-up” list: make a list of people to follow-up with post-conference—include notes to jog your memory.
  12. Keep in touch: follow up with the valuable connections you make: email about something you spoke about, add them to your newsletter, or just say hi.
  13. Give yourself time to decompress: wait a day or two before you dive into all the information you collected.
  14. Make a post-conference “To Do list”: go through your notes and create a list of action items to focus on based on what you learned..

See more Small Business Tipsheets by Lidia Varesco Design

  • http://twitter.com/sundeesundee Sundee K

    Great suggestions, Lidia!  I just discovered the value of roundtables (#6) at this year’s HOW Conference.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Sundee! I signed up for my first “lunch with a speaker” at the HOW Conference and found it very useful. I think we all walked away with new ideas and insight.