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Those are all great suggestions. The other thing I like to do is figure out how to connect with people through social media. That way I can learn more and continue to communicate with new associates after the conference has ended. It is nice to have something to use instead of just a business card.

doing the opposite is a good way to experience a conference differently. Something else that I do is meet the catering staff, the photographer, the people serving cappuccino and so on... in fact, this past week at WOMMA, many of the hostel staff were lovely people with really good stories and ideas competing with those of the attendees proper.

Here's one I like to do at conferences:

Separate from the pack for at least one session. Go to a session without your friends and colleagues with the intention to meet new folks. Then take those new contacts back to the pack with you and introduce them. If everyone in your pack of friends does this for one session, you can grow your group quickly.

On the opposite side of this, I like to encourage people from the same organization to be "peas in a pod." Instead of dividing and conquering to get more information, go to a session together. This way you each have a different perspective on the information and the organization is more likely to have organizational learning instead of individual learning.

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