Monday, September 15, 2014

Maximizing Conferences and Seminars, Part 2

This is part two in a four part series about ways to make the most of your attendance at a conference.

Step 1: Prepare to attend the conference.

Preparation is essential to a successful conference however it is also the most often overlooked step in the process. Good preparation can make the difference between a mediocre conference and one that produces strong results for you and the firm. 

Plan each day’s activities

Develop a plan of action of what you want to learn, who you want to meet, the activities you will participate in and the steps you’ll need to take to fully prepare for the conference. Review the speakers, the subject of their presentation and their bios. Decide which of them you would like to try to meet. Think about the questions you will want to ask during the Q&A portion of their talk. Plan out your attendance so that you know in advance which presentations you will attend, who you want to meet and what you want to learn.

Get a list of attendees

Call the event organizers and try to get a list of the attendees in advance of the conference. Some conferences publish this along with summary information such as company, title, and geographic location of each attendee. Get whatever they have available. It won’t be a complete list as there are always those that sign up last minute or change plans. But it will give you about 70% to 80% of the attendees. Review the list and mark those that you’d like to meet.

Reach out to learn what to expect

If you’ve never been to that particular conference before get a list of past attendees and reach out to them to ask what you can do to make the most of your conference experience. Ask their opinion as to who the most influential people are that you should try to meet and any inside tips they might give you to make the most of the conference. Often there are ‘not to be missed’ parties, certain presentations that everyone goes to or other insider tips that are good to know as you are planning your conference strategy.

If I can help you get the most out of your event attendance, give Eric Dewey a call at 502.693.4731. You'll find that I am an eager resource and that it costs nothing to talk.

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