How to get the most out of a professional conference


Getting the Most out of a Professional Conference.

  • Attend the Orientation for New Attendees. If you have never attended a professional conference before, take advantage of the orientation for new …
  • Use the mobile conference apps (at NACADA use Guidebook)
  • Focus on Variety.
  • Read the Conference Materials and Do Some Preliminary Planning Before You Attend.
  • Use a Tag Team Approach to Accessing Concurrent Sessions.

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference
  1. What the Experts Say. Professional conferences are an unavoidable fact of working life. …
  2. Change your mindset. …
  3. Pre-introduce yourself. …
  4. Be strategic with your time. …
  5. Network on your terms. …
  6. Listen more; talk less. …
  7. Manage your existing connections. …
  8. Make time for yourself.
Jul 8, 2015


How can I make the most of my next conference?

From prepping beforehand to having a great time while you’re there, here’s what you need to know to make the most of your next conference. 1. Gain Visibility A great way to maximize your conference experience is to participate in some way—like being a presenter, session facilitator, or committee volunteer.

What to do if you have never attended a professional conference?

If you have never attended a professional conference before, take advantage of the orientation for new attendees. This will help you understand the conference themes, structure, organization and opportunities and will help you better navigate the event. Take advantage of the new technologies.

How can I gain professional experience at a conference?

This can be a great way to gain professional experience and engage more fully in the conference as it is happening. Choose to attend at least one conference presentation in an area that you are not familiar with. This might help you discover a new passion, resource or opportunity.

Why go to a conference?

You’re going to a conference. So you need to know how to get the most of it. This article covers conference tips that help you use conferences to achieve personal, professional, and business goals. You’ll learn things like: There are a lot of potential benefits of attending conferences that go beyond the simple “network and learn from speakers.”


How do I get the most of my professional conferences?

Gain Visibility. … Build Stronger Relationships. … Get Briefed. … Choose the Right Sessions. … Remember What You Learn. … Connect With the Speakers. … Schmooze at the Social Events. … Put Away the Smartphone.More items…

How do you prepare for a professional conference?

The steps you typically need to take for preparing for a conference are:Plan well in advance. … Form an organizational team. … Define what the conference is attempting to achieve. … Create a business plan based on the available budget. … Pick a date. … Choose an appropriate venue. … Book your speakers. … Create a conference schedule.More items…•

How do you stand out in a conference?

5 Ways to Make Your Conference Stand OutMake people your priority. Put your attendees first by showing them you care. … Divide and conquer. The larger your conference is, the more diverse your attendees will be. … Make it easy for attendees. … Take advantage of the distractions. … Supply useful event swag.

What do you want to get out of a conference?

6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a ConferenceThink About Your Goals. Consider your priorities for a conference. … Choose the Right Conferences. There are several different types of conferences and they each have their own strengths. … Plan Your Time. … Networking. … Don’t Neglect Twitter. … Take Notes. … Follow Up.

What is important when preparing to attend a conference?

Planning ahead is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for attending a conference. Take some time before the conference begins to set goals, plan your agenda, and make a list of people you want to meet while you’re there.

How do you stand out at a conference booth?

Continue reading to learn how to stand out at a trade show.Build hype in advance. … Invest in an eye-catching booth design. … Step up your swag. … Create an experience. … Leverage social media to your advantage. … Prioritize follow-up.

What should a woman wear to a conference?

Although women generally have a bit more leeway in terms of conference clothing than men, there are several professional staples that can help you look your best. Think blouses, cardigans, blazers, button-downs, dress pants, wrap dresses and pencil or A-line skirts. Don’t feel pressured to adhere to a certain look.

Can I wear jeans to a conference?

2. Can I wear jeans to a conference? Always err on the side of formality if you are uncertain about the type of meeting you are about to enter. You can wear jeans or remove your jacket if you are attending a business casual meeting.

What do you bring to a conference?

Pack the following items for your next business conference or seminar to ensure you are prepared, comfortable and productive.Reusable water bottle. … Business cards. … Leisure clothes. … Charger/extended batteries. … Notebook and pen. … A watch. … Comfortable shoes. … Sweater.More items…

How do conferences help professional development?

Rather than interacting digitally, conferences harness the power of having individuals with similar interests gathered in the same place. From business networking to industry best practices, conferences offer professionals the opportunity to learn from peers and leaders alike and forge useful connections.

What should I bring to an academic conference?

Here is some advice I’ve put together based off of my own experience:Ask your peers for advice. … Bring a formal and a not-so-formal outfit. … Try on different outfits at home before you leave for the event. … Wear layers. … Make sure to bring an umbrella. … Wear comfortable shoes. … Bring Band-Aids. … Have fun.

What is the objective of a conference?

The conference is also a space for creating collaborative links between academics and professional practitioners and their workplaces, aiming at long-term sharing of knowledge and discussions of highly current issues. The main topics of the conference are: Public Administration, Administrative Law, Public Policy.

What to do instead of going to a conference?

Instead of just going to a conference in your industry, set up a small event outside of the conference. Tweet this!

What are the benefits of attending a conference?

Benefits of attending conferences. There are a lot of potential benefits of attending conferences that go beyond the simple “network and learn from speakers.”. Of course those are important, but there are other benefits that people don’t always consider. For example: Social media content from the conference.

What is one great connection?

One great connection can lead to new job opportunities, partnerships, and content creation. One new idea, if it’s the right one, can change the way you approach all of your work. One great connection can lead to new job opportunities, partnerships, and content creation. Conferences and networking matter. Tweet this!

What is the point of a conference?

The point of a conference isn’t just to meet people—it’s to network with people. If you go to a conference with a networking goal in mind, you need to make sure that you stay in touch with people after the conference. Your level of follow up depends on the kind of relationship you want to have with someone.

What is the easiest time to connect with new people?

Lunch might be the easiest time to connect with new people.

What to do when you need content for social media?

If you need content for social media, take a picture with the people you meet!

Why is sleep important in a conference?

It’s both, but it’s especially important for conferences because sleep is the first thing that goes out the window.

How to bring conference highlights home?

Bring conference highlights home by presenting to your department, host a brown bag debrief and share key takeaways with colleagues.

How to expand your professional contacts?

Conferences are great ways to engage with your familiar and trusted workmates but make it a point to expand your professional contacts by introducing yourself to at least three new people. If you feel awkward approaching others, network with an extroverted friend who can help with introductions. You are likely to meet some amazing people.

What to do if you have never attended a conference before?

If you have never attended a professional conference before, take advantage of the orientation for new attendees. This will help you understand the conference themes, structure, organization and opportunities and will help you better navigate the event.

How to take away something from a professional practice?

Be determined to take away at least one idea, tool, concept or bit of information that can be applied to your daily practice. Hang on to your handouts for future reference.

How to make conference attendance a goal?

Make conference attendance a regular professional goal and keep track of upcoming events. Note your own professional growth and accomplishments from one conference to the next. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve done, who you’ve met and what you’ve learned over time.

What is a conference program?

They are literally directories of expert level knowledge and subject matter expertise and can be accessed for a wide range of reasons following a conference. Perhaps you’d like to invite someone to speak at a gathering, act as a mentor, or collaborate on a related project or future proposal? Let your program act as a professional resource and directory going forward.

How effective are conferences?

Conferences can be highly effective at helping you advance a wide range of professional objectives. For example, they can help you build and extend professional contacts, find a mentor or collaborator, gain experience presenting original work, advance your subject matter expertise, extend your knowledge of resources, introduce you to new theory, …

Why do people shy away from networking?

Despite the known benefits of having an extensive and diverse network, many people “shy away from the opportunity to create new connections because networking makes them feel inauthentic and physically dirty ,” says Gino. To reduce these feelings, she suggests changing your mindset and motives.

What does Ron do when networking?

When networking, Ron also makes an effort to do more listening than talking. “My objective is be seen as a resource for people. I want to engage them in a way so that when they have a technical question down the road, they think to pick up the phone and call me.”

How does Parisa get the conversation flowing?

Since most people know her but don’t necessarily know each other, Parisa gets the conversation flowing by asking everyone to introduce themselves and to provide an initial take on the topic at hand. “I like bringing people together for a smaller, structured gathering. Big groups can be overwhelming.”

Is a professional conference an unavoidable fact?

What the Experts Say. Professional conferences are an unavoidable fact of working life. And even if you’re an introvert who dreads the multi-day extravaganza of breakout talks and cocktail-infused networking sessions, you must resist your impulse to stay home, says Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School.

What is a first timer briefing?

A lot of conferences try to be extra welcoming to newbies and will host a first-timers briefing. You definitely want to build this type of session into your schedule—not only to get the scoop on things, but also to meet other participants who, just like you, are a little uncertain and looking to form some new relationships.

What to do with resources at a conference?

You gained a lot of new information, inspiration, and contacts at the conference, and one of the best things you can do with those resources is to share them with your fellow co-workers, colleagues, and friends. Send out videos of the sessions you thought were particularly valuable, give a talk about something you learned at your next staff meeting, and tell your boss about some of the interesting contacts you met. You’ll spread your new skills and knowledge—and hopefully your colleagues will reciprocate the next time they go to a great event.

What is a conference?

A conference is the time to meet new people, but it’s also a time to build on the relationships you already have. If you know of people you want to reconnect with or get to know better who will be attending—clients, vendors, friends-of-friends—reach out a few weeks before the conference to set up a time to meet for coffee or a meal …

How to maximize your conference experience?

1. Gain Visibility. A great way to maximize your conference experience is to participate in some way—like being a presenter, session facilitator, or committee volunteer. (When you see the initial posting for the conference, check out if there are these options available, or email the conference organizer directly to ask.) …

What are the best things to do in your career?

Attending conferences might be one of the best things you can do for your career. You’ll learn about industry trends, gain some new skills, and make all kinds of new connections. (And yes, there’s usually travel and free meals involved.)

1. Strategic Conference Preparation

Begin planning for a specific conference by first determining how attendance will align with the goals and objectives of your business. These reasons guide our team toward making a conference preparation plan. Taking ample time, in advance, to plan your schedule is critical.

2. Schedule Your Time Wisely

Conference schedules are often planned far in advance and there may be times that a session isn’t quite what you thought it was going to be. We empower our team to use their time wisely and get the most out of their conference experience.

3. Build Relationships at the Conference

Researching the companies and people you will meet is just as important as identifying the knowledge you want to gain from the educational sessions. Relationships often develop over time and have the potential to be a key component in that big contract you are anxious to close.

4. Create Online Networking Opportunities

If you do not have access to the conference attendee list in advance, find out if the event has a #hashtag and see who else is attending. This can help you identify key influencers or network with professionals who are interested in a particular topic.

5. Get Involved in Associations, Boards, and Committees

Help take care of the trade associations who educate us, protect us, and spread the word about our services. Investing in sponsorships is a great way to get your brand recognized and show your support. Join an association, a board, or committee and get involved to meet new people, learn from your peers, and share your special skills.

6. Learn to Be a Good Listener

Listening skills are paramount in a conference environment. There is an abundance of information and conversation going on with you and around you. Being a good listener is an essential part of gaining value from your attendance.

What are the biggest mistakes in networking?

One of the biggest mistakes (other than planning) in networking is the failure to follow-up! Not just with people you met at the event but with friends and colleagues who may not have been there. Find ways to share your experience and insights with them after the event.

What is conference app?

Conference apps aren’t just a convenience, they lay the groundwork for your event (networking) experience . It can be a contact list, a job search lead, and a media channel (if social channels are incorporated). Explore the tools conference organizers provide and fold them into your pre-conference (not just day of conference) prep.

Where to wear nametag?

Wear your nametag where it is visible (right shoulder so when you reach out to shake someone’s hand, it is clearly visible). And I’ll say it again: I’m not a big fan of lanyards (because they hang at an awkward level, making it hard to read the information printed on them).

Can you RSVP for an event?

You can simply RSVP for an event or you an actively RSVP. Once you commit to attending, really commit by making your own personal event plan. “Have a plan before you attend a conference. Research the event including speakers and sponsors.

Do chat functions enhance online workshops?

Chat functions do enhance online workshops and virtual conferences but to borrow from one of my mentors, “the network is incomplete until you meet in-person”. Remember this before you skip the IRL event experience to rely on the livestream.

Is Forbes opinion their own?

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Does it take planning and preparation to be at the right place at the right time?

Making the right choices on WHY you’re attending an event puts you in front of opportunity (aka serendipity). Yes, it takes planning and preparation to be “at the right place at the right time” not dumb luck .


Leave a Comment