Attending an industry conferences is one of the best ways to give your work and your business a boost. You have plenty of opportunities to meet new people who work in your field and make connections, as well as learn from some of the most innovative and successful voices currently working through lectures and hands-on demos. There are so many benefits of attending an industry conference regardless, but there are certain strategies you can use to make sure that you make a positive impression on others and leave feeling happy and successful.
Plan your schedule well before the conference.
You will make the most out of a conference if you plan your days out in advance. Having a set schedule will enable you to get more out of your time at the conference, because you will spend less time looking for things to do, setting up meetings, or choosing a restaurant. Decide which official conference events you want to attend, and reach out to friends and business partners to set up meetings ahead of time instead of waiting until you get there. That being said, don’t schedule out every single minute of the trip – you’ll want to have at least a little downtime.
Take opportunities to connect with new people.
Take every chance you get to make a positive or beneficial connection with those around you. It’s not every day that you are surrounded by dynamic and hard-working professionals with similar professional interests and goals. If you are invited to a meeting with someone outside your normal circle, go for it! You will likely leave with new ideas and connections that can help you out in the future. It also is important to strike up conversations with those around you, whether that be the person sitting next to you at an event or across from you at breakfast. While not all of these conversations will result in a new friendship or business partnership, there’s a chance that some of them might – and the more chances you take, the more likely it is that this will happen.
Put the phone down.
It can be very tempting to spend the whole conference on social media, posting pictures and Tweets about everything that’s happening, or emailing and texting with friends and colleagues who aren’t there. However, if you spend the whole conference on your phone, you will miss out on a lot of what’s going on around you. People are less likely to approach someone who is glued to a screen, and you might not catch some of the most important moments from the conference either. Set your phone to vibrate and leave it in your pocket or briefcase – you will be thankful that you did.
By coming into a conference with a dedicated and focused attitude, you will most likely have a more positive attitude and accomplish more while you are there. Staying organized, yet open-minded is the best way to have a successful experience at any industry conference.