So you’re registered for a conference and you’re ready to soak up all the information you possibly can. But that’s not all you should be doing!1
How To Maximize Your Conference Experience
Conferences can be overwhelming in both a good and a bad way. I used to actually plan conferences for a living (there isn’t much that I haven’t done in my career!) and know just how much can be jam packed into them. While conferences are really great for information presentation, that’s not the only thing that you can get from them!
While at the conference, here are some tips to making it count:
1. Network with other attendees.
This is huge whether you’re at a blogging conference, tech conference, mom conference, whatever. Often times people feel like they shouldn’t network and really connect with other attendees because they’re there getting information the same way you are so they must have nothing to offer. This method of thinking couldn’t be more wrong! Conferences are where you meet your tribe and people who can hold you accountable to your goals. Meet and greet your fellow attendees!
2. Network with the presenters.
This is kind of obvious but not really. I can’t tell you how many conferences I’ve planned and attended where people just dipped after the presentation instead of exchanging information with them. This is ABSURD! They are clearly an expert at whatever topic they are speaking on but they may also have more information to offer so network and see what that is!
3. Exchange business cards
And make notes on them when you get a chance. Some think that business cards are impersonal but they can also be a great ice breaker. I have square cards that I got from Moo.com and absolutely love but they’re also a great conversation starter! I met someone at my most recent conference–Blog Life University Conference (BLU)–that had a flip card! It was really cute and we just started chatting easily because of it!
So You Rocked Your Conference, Now What?
Just because the conference is over doesn’t mean you’ve fully rocked it. The post conference to-do is just as important!
4. Follow-up with your new contacts.
And keep their business cards. Seriously. I have a drawer with them. Why? Because in this business of blogging where I’m constantly receiving digital notifications I can get overwhelmed and the cards serve as the perfect reminder of who I want to connect with. This goes for brands, fellow attendees and presenters. After the conference is over, send a follow up email just saying hey and some other awesome words. I got an email from Jenny with The Melrose Family following the conference and I loved feeling like she remembered me and I mattered!
5. Make a plan to apply what you learned.
At BLU, I was super excited for the Pinterest & Travel sessions–these are 2 things I’m pretty passionate about. I learned soooooo much from Kita and Tiffany but in order to NOT be overwhelmed, I developed a plan of action to really make all the information I learned count. I mean, what’s the point in attending a conference if not to make you better right?
Conferences are a great opportunity to network with your peers while soaking up new, relevant information–they’re definitely worth it!