I initially had the title of this post set to "what you're missing". Conferences and events give you the opportunity to shape your own experience. A long time ago I wrote that the answer to how is yes -- and I believe it. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way? Or are you spending your time bemoaning what the experience could have been?
Here are 21 ideas just off the top of my head, so feel free to add your own in the comments.
- make it a point to have at least three take aways for each session you attend -- there's a lot of experience hiding in the obvious
- engage with your seat neighbors -- more knowledge you can tap there
- choose to provide constructive feedback to all
- spend some time with the people on the trade show floor, learn about their products or services
- demo products, talk to the reps about the services
- knowledge is power, doing trumps that -- a reminder for us all
- ask good questions
- use the information you researched ahead of time on attendees/topic
- be open to new ideas or new points of view
- document what you learn to share with your team
- have a good attitude, it's contagious
- tweet less if it allows you to listen more
- share connections with other attendees
- pay attention to non verbals at breaks
- observe what people gravitate towards and make a note of it for your business
- take the time to provide overall feedback to conference organizers
- participate to sessions actively -- body language is also participation
- be willing to challenge your own thinking
- split sessions if you're going with a team, and regroup -- often several good sessions are concurrent
- meet the speakers during breaks
- make notes of any follow up activities and follow through
What else? What have you found a good use of your time when attending conferences? Jump in!
[image courtesy of Bill Lublin, with Frank Eliason at the tweet up before Social Media Plus]
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.