Episode 32 - Making the most of a conference
Apr 17, 2016
In this episode, we discuss how to get the most out of attending a conference. Doing some planning before you go and some follow up after you return will help you get a higher return on your investment.
Before you go to the conference
- Know why you are going so you know your main objective.
- Take a look at the schedule and figure out which panels and workshops you want to attend.
- Schedule in some downtime to decompress during the event.
- Check to see if there are any interesting meetups before, during, and after the conference (some are official and some are hosted by attendees or related groups).
- Connect with speakers and panelists on social media before you go.
- Find the hashtag for the conference before you go.
- Make sure to familiarize yourself with the venue and the area by searching online.
- If you can, stay in the conference hotel or recommended hotel.
- Make sure you pack appropriately for the conference dress code and bring very comfortable shoes (you will do a lot of walking).
- Don't forget to pack business cards.
- Download the subcribing app for your email list (Mailchimp's is called subscriber and Aweber's is called Atom) so you can sign people up for your email list on the spot if they are interested, no internet connection required.
- Set an away message on your email addresses so you can focus on the conference (add an extra day so you can follow up and decompress).
- Get a lot of sleep the week before you go because you won't get a lot of sleep at the conference.
While you are at the conference
- Get there early on the first day so you don't get caught in registration and miss anything important.
- Get to panels early if there is a speaker you wish to meet.
- Don't forget to take the time you scheduled to decompress.
- Look for asks and signup opportunities so you do not need to take notes during the panel or workshop (many speakers will provide you with notes or their slides if you give them your email address).
- Put your phone down and pay attention.
- Don't plan to see family or friends during the duration of the conference; see them before or after the conference.
- Introduce yourself to the people you sit next to in panels and workshops.
- Don't forget to ask people for their business card.
- Go see the vendors early.
- Be considerate of the people around you.
- Have a good time.
After the conference
- Take off the day after you get home to get the most from attending the conference; get some sleep, wrap up the conference, and decompress.
- Be generous to the people you met and share your experience with your audience.
- Thank the speakers and organizers on social media.
- Confirm any email subscriptions so you get the notes and slides from the presenters (don't forget to check your promotions tab or spam box).
- Follow up with contacts you made but do not add them to your email list without their permission.
- Determine the value you received to decide if you are going to go next year and what you would like your role to be next year.
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