So, you’re going to a professional conference. It’s a great opportunity to learn new things. Conferences are a great way to find out what’s happening in your markets. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
I’ve been going to conferences for many years. I get good results for the time invested because clients and partners keep sending me. Sometimes as a speaker, other times, as an attendee. Either way, it can be a great way to invest your time.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how social media has impacted the conferences I go to. Social media is changing the way we attend conferences. Today, I attend both virtual conferences and on location for clients and partners. It’s interesting because I meet and learn about almost the same number of people in both settings. It depends on how friendly the conference is to social media.
This coming week, I’m at the IBM Vision 2016 Conference. I’ll be sharing from the event, but also plan to share what I learn here in future blogs. Do me a favor; if you see a tweet you like while I’m there, please retweet it. Our millennial readers do, but many of you haven’t been exposed to this in the conference you attend. A tweet or a retweet is great way to show support of the speakers and presenters. It’s also a great way to connect with people with similar background through social media!
I will be learning about of high impact topics, including preparing for the future, accelerating sales performance, optimizing your sales team, and finally, for my CXO clients, risk, governance and compliance. Oh my! Don’t worry, I will be sharing in the way you expect, No BS and implementable.
I can’t wait to share what I learn. I will be attending breakout sessions with an eye on providing you with great information you can apply to your life and business. I’m always amazed at what I find out at these conferences. As you can imagine, I always come home from conferences with great group connections to follow up on.
Today, I’ll talk about attending a conference in person. In a future blog, I will talk about getting the most out of virtual conferences, for both speakers and attendees.
Here are three strategies I wish someone would have told me to help me get the greatest value out of attending. These are easy ideas, but with everything else going on in your busy day, it’s easy to miss the opportunities. So let’s get started. As you prepare for the event consider what you would like to learn and do. In my case, I’m always looking for new ideas that can help me grow my business.
The first strategy is to check the entire agenda to see which breakouts you want to attend. Depending on where your business is, there are programs that can help you grow. While considering which events to attend, you might want to consider your short and long term goals and what information might help get you there. There are so many great options, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
I evaluate it two ways: Is this a topic I’d like to know more about and is this a person I might like to know over time. Be willing to participate, as well. Ask questions and be willing to explore new ideas with your session facilitators. I’ve met several great consultants who led breakout sessions that have turned into potential partners and clients.
This first strategy will help you enjoy your next professional conference more.
Next Monday, I will share the final two strategies to help you have a great conference. See you on Monday!