Conferences are a great way to expand your horizon and understand your industry better. Not just are they a place where you can meet a lot of like-minded people, but you might also just find an investor for your ‘million-dollar idea’ (although it is recommended you don’t approach any event with this mindset).
Whether it is about understanding the latest industry trends or just networking, a conference is the place you should be at! Attending a conference is not just about registering yourself and getting a pass. It also should involve some prep and also some post-conference activities to ensure that there was some meaning to your attendance.
Here are some key areas that you must cover if you want to make your experience of attending conferences successful.
It is extremely important that you are well prepared in every sense for the event. This might include something as small as adhering strictly to the dress code to having a little more understanding of the speaker’s background. Understanding the speaker’s background more than an average attendee might actually help you a lot in those Q and A sessions and create a great impression.
You must also be well versed with the agenda of the day and topics that will be discussed during the event. For example, if one of the sessions of the day is going to be on something like “Sustainable Development Goals”, it might be helpful if you do your own homework on what it exactly is. You need not become an expert on the topic overnight, but having a better hold on the subject will definitely enhance your experience.
During the event
It is extremely vital for you to be well planned for the day. You have the agenda in front of you, so please do ensure that you have it all sorted as to which are the sessions you’re attending. Another thing that is crucial for your personal success is your timing. Make sure that you are at the even earlier than the scheduled start, this gives you ample time to network with the organisers, attendees and who knows, you might just have a chance to meet the speakers as well.
Speaking of networking, it is extremely important for you to be well-stocked with your visiting card. Now, in no way are we asking you to distribute your cards at will; please be selective. However, it has been often observed that a number of conference-goers make this rookie mistake.
If you are serious about networking and meeting industry peers at the conference, then it’s extremely important that you try to maintain the relationship from your side as well. It has been often said that 24 hours after the conference is the most crucial one. Hit up your contacts on LinkedIn or E-Mail. Write a formal introduction. Try to create a rapport, because, as time passes, the chances are that people might not recollect you.
A strong social media game can also help you a lot in creating the right noise. Check out the organiser’s social media post, their hashtags etc. Share your opinion and reviews on the event. Social media is one place which in a lot of cases can get you greater mileage than the event itself.