From sourcing perfect small conference venues to sorting out tea and coffee breaks, event organisers have a tough time preparing for business meetings no matter what the size, but attendees should bee doing their share of pre-planning too.Here are four ways you can get the most out of an upcoming conference.
If you have a choice of sessions make sure the seminars you're signing up for support your goals. It might be fun to learn about international business customs or play team-building exercises, but if it doesn't help you get where you want to go, you might want to re-evaluate.
Be the Star Student
Small conference venues offer attendees a chance to get up close to even the most sought-after keynote speaker, but if your meeting is in a larger room you can still make sure you don't miss a word by scoring a seat in the front row. You'll have fewer distractions if you sit up front and you'll be able to see and hear much better, too.
Like the bee, B-ZZZZ! Work hard to get the most out of the event. (Some attendees look at a conference as a junket.) There’s a lot to bee gained by pitching in and focussing on the main game. Take lots of notes and have a to-do-list for actions after the conference.
Be Able to Hand Out Lots of Business Cards
This seems like it would be a given, but it's shocking how many people show up to a conference without enough business cards – or without any! Conferences are an ideal opportunity to network and make connections, but if you don’t have a way for those newfound friends to keep in contact – and no, scribbling your email address on a cocktail napkin doesn't count – all your efforts may be in vain. And remember, people who are just acquaintances now can easily be allies later.
Be a Real Winner Thorough Post-Game Analysis
The day after your conference take the time to review all your notes, highlighting or even rewriting the bits and pieces that resonate with you most. Your shorthand will make more sense to you while it's still fresh, and you'll probably be more inspired to act on the lessons you've learned, too.
Also take this time to send a follow up email to the people whose business cards you collected; a simple note saying 'thanks for the conversation' or 'great presentation' is enough to keep the channels of communication open.