Twelve Tips to Magnify the Conference Experience
Many ASUN organizations and J-School clubs offer the opportunity to attend a conference. If you can attend, take advantage of the opportunity. If you’re an entry level employee, try to negotiate attendance at a conference in your field as part of your salary/benefits to keep abreast of trends in the industry, learn new techniques and expand your network. In addition to learning skills, conferences are a terrific opportunity to network with attendees, speakers and sponsoring exhibitors. You never know if you are meeting someone to collaborate with in the future, perhaps connecting with a future employer or employee, or just a resource for the work you do.
Some tips for magnifying your conference experience
Before you go:
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. You never know if you’ll met potential employers interested in working with you.
- Bring plenty of current business cards. If you’re a student, highlight your three key skills like “Copywriter, Photographer, Communications Strategist.” Be sure to include contact, portfolio and social media details.
- Always save ONE business card in your purse/wallet, or even take a picture of it, so when you run out, you’ll still be able to share the content.
- Plan for weather and wear layers – conference sites can be too hot or too cold.
When you’re there:
- Plan your schedule to include workshop attendance, speakers to meet, networking, down time.
- Set objectives: how many of the speakers do you want to meet; what exhibits/exhibitors do you need to connect with; what lessons do you want to learn? Plan your time accordingly.
- Share content via your top three social channels. Use the hashtags for the event. This both positions your professional brand, as well as helps the conference organizers create a meaningful experience for current and future attendees.
- Do NOT cause a Twitterstorm with thoughtless comments.
- Rest as needed and stay hydrated.
- Have fun-make, new friends, try new foods.
When you get home:
- Follow up. If you had a conversation, be sure to reach out following thru on whatever you discussed.
- Follow all your connections, the speakers, the exhibitors on all your social channels