If you are going to a business conference, you may or may not get much out of it. It all depends on your approach to them. If you expect a boring seminar, that is all you are going to get. But, if you expect to learn something, you are going to do just that. Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of any business conference.
1. Read the Agenda In Advance
There may be a lot of different sessions going on during the conference, and obviously, you aren’t going to be able to attend every single one. Look at the agenda ahead of time, and see which ones you are most interested, and schedule your time around these sessions.
2. Practice Your Introduction
You will be meeting a lot of people, and you won’t have time for a lot of small talk. Practice introducing yourself in just a few words, or one sentence.
3. Use Social Media
Be active on social media during the event: follow the hashtag, like, repost and make new connections through social media on the conference.
4. Make Note Of Who You Wish To Speak With
There are likely certain individuals who you are interested in speaking too, but once you arrive at a crowded convention, you may find yourself overwhelmed and forget what you had wanted to do. Have a list of the people you want to see, so you don’t forget anyone.
5. Don’t Drink
You are representing your company, and the last thing you want to do is to get drunk and make a complete fool out of yourself at the conference. Sure, you can enjoy a drink or two, but don’t overdo it. If you are at the bar with other conference attendees, stick to soda or mocktails.
6. Have Your Business Cards Ready
One of the goals of attending these conferences is to make new contacts. Make sure that you have plenty of business cards with you, and make notes on the backs of cards you receive from others so you remember everyone later.
7. Ask Questions
When you are attending sessions, ask questions if there is anything you are unsure about or you want to learn even more. Speakers want you to ask questions. Otherwise, they are just standing there giving lectures.
8. Focus On Work, Not Fun
This is not a vacation. This is a business trip. Don’t make plans to party with friends who live in the area. Instead, keep your time open for last-minute invitations from other conference attendees.
9. Get Out There
Between sessions, don’t run back to your ream to get on your phone or laptop, or read a book. Get out there and meet others at the conference. If people don’t approach you, don’t be afraid to approach them and engage in conversation.
10. Carry Plenty Of Snacks
Often, when you attend conferences, your only food options are high in price. Make sure that you have plenty of healthy and delicious snacks in your briefcase or purse. Some suggestions include granola bars, chocolate bars, candy, and maybe even a sandwich from the nearest corner store.
11. Wear Comfy Shoes
You are going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, so make sure that you are wearing shoes that are comfortable. Sneakers are fine, as long as they are clean and neat looking.
12. Follow Up After The Conference
Once you are back in your office, be sure to follow up with those you met at the conference. Not only will this show that you actually remember them, but that you were also interested in working with them. This is where the notes you wrote on the backs of the cards comes in handy.