Conferences are an essential part of professional growth. Not only do they expose attendees to upcoming trends in their industry, they can also help with soft skills such as networking.
How to Make the Most of Your Conference Experience
Conferences can be overwhelming experiences stretched out over several days and jam-packed with events, activities, talks, and social gatherings. The best way to get the most out of your conference experience is to do a little pre-planning.
Do Your Research
Before booking your hotel room and rental car, do a little research on the conference you are attending. Research the speakers and the topics to ensure the information provided will be of benefit to your current or future work projects. Also, think about whether there is any other business you can do in the host city, which is a nice bonus.
Create a Plan
Once you have researched the conference and all is a go, it’s time to plan your conference experience. Look at the schedule of activities, events and talks, and select which ones will be of most value to you. While it would be great to attend every lecture, panel discussion, and activity that isn’t a realistic scenario. Going in without a plan may cause you to miss out on parts of a conference that may be of real value.
Stay At or Near the Conference
Staying at or near the conference location allows for less stress trying to get to events on time and makes it easier to take advantage of ad-hoc networking events when they arise. Without fail, there will be times where acquaintances new and old want to do something last-minute. If you’re the odd person out who isn’t staying near the conference, you’ll likely have to bow out of many of these activities, reducing the benefit of attending the conference in general.
Reach Out to Connections Who May Be Attending
Be sure to start reaching out to colleagues and LinkedIn connections to get an idea if anyone you may know will be attending. Reaching out to find known contacts can help you develop a “pack” to socialize with at the conference. Developing a “pack” can help create new connections with far less effort and stress than going solo.
Attend at Least One Social Event
While social events at conferences can be awkward, especially if you are not a natural networker, it is important to attend at least one of these events. These social events are a great way to practice networking in a low-stress environment, since everyone else at the event is likely in the same or similar boat. Also, such events are a great way to get a pulse on what other companies are doing and the types of talent they have.
Conferences are a great way to learn current industry trends and practice essential professional skills like networking. They can also serve as inspiration. If, after a conference, you feel invigorated and inspired by the future and are ready to grow your business, contact ASK Staffing. At ASK Staffing, we will help bring your inspiration into reality by connecting you with top industry talent who will deliver results.