How to get the most out of conferences


10 Ways To Get The Most Out of Conferences

  1. Firm Handshake. Ah, yes, my favorite cliché. I know this may seem like a joke to you lot, but a firm handshake goes a…
  2. Sell Yourself. No, not literally. When you’re meeting someone new, you only have a few seconds to make an impression,…
  3. Remember Names. If you remember the episode of The Office where Michael tries…

10 Ways to Make the Most Out of a Conference
  1. Gain Visibility. …
  2. Build Stronger Relationships. …
  3. Get Briefed. …
  4. Choose the Right Sessions. …
  5. Remember What You Learn. …
  6. Connect With the Speakers. …
  7. Schmooze at the Social Events. …
  8. Put Away the Smartphone.
Jun 19, 2020


When you go to a conference what do you want to accomplish?

When you go to a conference, know what you want to accomplish before you hit the conference floor Tweet this! After you’ve determined that an event is a good fit, it’s important to figure out your goals for the event in advance. Knowing what you want to get out of an event will help you figure out what to prioritize.

How can I make conferences more memorable?

“ Conferences can be memorable, inspiring and fun — a great way to re-energize yourself . Make a point to join and expand the conversation by tweeting key insights on the event hashtag. Be sure to get an online contact established (i.e.LinkedIn).

What are some tricks to make a conference less boring?

One trick is to go to dinner together with coworkers, but require that everyone bring someone they met at the conference. Or agree that at least one night, everyone had to go out on their own. Many folks take conferences too seriously. They worry too much about being efficient with their time.

Do you pay for your own way to attend conferences?

Or ask just for the time off without having to use up vacation time, and you pay your own way. This can be a way to prove the value of the conference, if you return with great stuff and teach others on your team.


How do I get the most out of online conferences?

8 tips for getting the most out of online conferencesSet your expectations. Simply put, a virtual conference is not going to offer you the same experiences as an in-person event. … Take time off regular work. … Plan ahead. … Meet someone new. … Get off your desk. … Enjoy the entertainment. … Share your learnings. … Invite your colleagues.

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.

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.

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.

How do I make my event stand out?

6 Incredible Ways To Make Your Event Stand OutChoose an easy to locate venue.Give your attendees an immersive experience.Engage your attendees in a creative and unique manner.Make everything easy for your attendees from start to end.Trigger an emotion with your event to give attendees a more memorable experience.More items…•

How do you prepare for a 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…

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.

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…

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.

Did Ron Winn get a spot on a panel?

Ron won a spot on a panel. Before the conference started, he examined the agenda and looked at the list of speakers and presenters. Whenever he came across a person he wanted to meet, he sent them an introductory email and a request to connect on LinkedIn. “That way, they know who you are,” he says.

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 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.

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.

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 .

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.

First of all, why do you go to conferences?

I find conferences rejuvenating. They are inspirational and energizing opportunities to connect with the greater scientific community, think about new strategies to approach my research, contemplate the bigger picture, and establish collaborations.

How do you decide which conferences to go to?

I attend the main conferences for my subject area. These tend to be quite broad though, so I also try to go to conferences that are more directly related to my specific subject and more interdisciplinary.
– Kinman

There is a lot going on at conferences, and you may also have other commitments you need to take care of too. How do you manage it all?

I like to make a plan in advance based on the session titles and recommendations from others. This gives me the security of always having at least one good option for what to do at any given time. At the same time, cultivating an element of spontaneity helps me stay engaged over what can be a bit of a marathon.

Do you make a point to talk to people at coffee breaks and go to social events?

Definitely. The social side of conferences is just as important as the scientific content. The best conference I ever attended was one where I didn’t know anybody. I was forced to talk to people and made lots of new friends. Many conferences have special events for students and new conference-goers, which can be effective.
– Kinman

What do you do after a conference is over to make sure you’re maximizing the benefit?

One of the things I’ve found the most helpful is following up with new contacts. Another is writing down the most exciting and important ideas that came to my head, as they’ll often slip away soon after I leave that creative environment.
– Boehnke

Do you have any further advice or suggestions of mistakes to avoid?

Probably the biggest mistake I see people (including a younger version of myself) make at conferences is only hanging out with your labmates and colleagues from your department or university. It is fun and easy, but it means missing out on the opportunity to build new connections.

Why are panels considered wild cards?

The panelists shy away from the intended topic, or avoid disagreeing with their co-panelists. For these and other reasons, panels are a wild card, and often result in forgettable experiences. Posters: Some conferences have poster areas, where professionals or students put together summaries of their work.

How many speakers are invited to a panel?

Panels: A panel session has 4 or 5 invited speakers sharing a time slot together.

What is a paper session?

This is a terrible waste of time for conference attendees. First, the papers are available online.

Why is contributing important?

The reason contributing matter s is it makes you an insider: you’ll meet other contributors and get to know the organizers. Even if your submission is rejected you still get rewards: you’ll force yourself to think about what’s important to you, or what topics you most want to talk to others about.

Is it hard to meet people at a conference?

Most conferences have scheduled social events, but often it’s so loud or large that it’s hard to meet new people. Often, by the night of the event many people have already formed cliques. If you’re alone, these events can be intimidating.

Is it rare to have a good speaker?

The majority of sessions at most events involve one person on stage lecturing a large audience. This can be a good way to learn if the topic is right and the speaker is good, but good speakers are rare. More importantly, you are a passive observer in a lecture even if it’s a great one.

Is it hard to socialize?

Everyone wants to socialize, but few are willing to take the lead. It’s not hard. Nearly everyone needs to eat and wants to make new friends over drinks, they just need an invite or a nudge. When the last session of the day begins, everyone is thinking about what they’re going to do later.

What is the biggest thing about conferences?

The biggest thing about conferences is that you have to look for the golden nuggets. It’s like panning for gold. There’s going to be stuff that isn’t relevant to you right now (or even in the future) or that may not resonate. But somewhere in there is absolute gold. But you have to go looking for it.

Why is it important to attend conferences?

It’s important to make sure you get the best from the conferences that you attend because they can be really expensive. It costs you time as well and you obviously have to sort out your life back home. Therefore if you’re investing time, energy, and money in a conference, you want to make sure you get the most out of it.

1. Firm Handshake

Ah, yes, my favorite cliché. I know this may seem like a joke to you lot, but a firm handshake goes a long way. It shows that you’re strong and self-confident.

2. Sell Yourself

No, not literally. When you’re meeting someone new, you only have a few seconds to make an impression, so don’t take the phrase “dress to impress” lightly! Wearing a nice watch or bracelet can also be a conversation piece. Stay poised, polished, and intelligent in everything you say and do. Remember, you’re selling yourself.

3. Remember Names

If you remember the episode of The Office where Michael tries to remember that bald guy’s name (I ironically can’t remember his name) that’s exactly what you’re trying to do. Remembering names gives people the understanding that they’ve made an impression on you for you to be able to remember their name. Use mnemonic devices to remember names.

4. Always Keep Business Cards

Keeping business cards are beyond essential for your networking. This way the people you meet will have the opportunity to be able to message stay in contact with you.

5. Actively Listen

When you’re having a conversation with someone, refrain from nodding. You don’t need to constantly nod for approval from a new partner or superior. When you do incessantly nod, it gives them the idea that you’re not actually listening. No one wants “yes men,” if they did, a business would never thrive.

6. Keep An Elevator Pitch

As ridiculous as it may sound, you should always keep an elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch? It’s when you highlight anything and everything I would possibly need to know about you in 15-20 seconds. It sounds daunting, but it’s definitely feasible.

7. Schedule Coffee Meet Ups

Going out for coffee with a potential client, network, or employer doesn’t mean that you’ll have to marry them. You’re only feeling the territory to get a better insight into the person and company.


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