It’s that time of year where conferences start to take up space on your agenda and your business card stack goes low. Conferences are a great way for companies to interact, learn from one another, and make connections for future endeavors. We’ve created a list of conference “must-dos” to ensure you get the most of your conference experience.
Most conferences have at least a bare-bones agenda set for the conference so once you sign up, you can start deciding what looks good to you to attend. Usually, you’ll get a full packet of goodies when you check-in, including a detailed conference agenda. Get excited because it's conference time!
There is always some type of meet and greet or cocktail hour at conferences. If you meet someone interesting that could be a future client or collaborator, exchange business cards so you can keep in touch. It’s also great to hand out a card to a session leader if you have follow-up questions. Pretend that they're candy and pass them out to everyone. Vista Print is a great place to grab some business cards quickly if you don't have any already.
During your sessions, you’ll want to be able to write down notes, ideas, and questions from that session. Most of the time conferences give a notepad and pen in the welcome packet, but if they don’t, you’ll still have your backup. Keeping good notes helps you go back to your company and tell everyone what you learned as well.
If you’re going with a couple of people from your company, don’t all go to the same sessions. A lot of times during a 1-hour time slot, there is more than one session or class to attend. By everyone going to separate ones, your company still benefits from all of them.
There will always be a Keynote Speaker. This person will be the most iconic (and probably highest paid) speaker of the conference and one you want to be sure you soak in all their knowledge. If you can, try and meet this speaker because they’ll be the ones you want to become friends with in the long-run. They'll usually leave you on your feet with a great speech that inspires you to make millions or run a marathon.
Difference conferences call for different attire. A photography conference might work better in business casual because you’ll be going outside to shoot photography, whereas a social media conference calls for more business professional. Altogether though, make sure you’re wearing shoes you’ll be comfortable in all day because you’ll do a lot of walking.
Conferences are a great way to learn new tips and tricks of your trade. At conferences, you’ll hear and learn from the best of that niche. By making sure you know what you’re there to learn about, you’ll know what sessions to attend, what questions to ask, and who you will want to meet.
Conferences are a great way to learn and grow yourself and your company. Being out in the conference arena allows your company visibility and brand recognition it may not have had before. Another great way for some recognition is to lead a session or help sponsor the event itself. Conferences are essential to company and personal growth in the ever-changing world of business.