Come Home Rich - How to Get the Most out of Your Next Conference
Success in your career depends upon how well you manage your professional development. A prime source of this development comes from being a member of a professional association that relates to your career. As a member, you can attend conferences where you advance your skills and meet people who can help you.
Some people, however, treat conferences as a paid vacation. They party, they skip sessions, and they return home with little more than a stack of receipts. That costs them (or their business) money and contributes nothing to professional growth.
Here's how to get the most out of your next conference.
Start With a Plan
First, make a list of your goals for attending the conference. For example, this could include the information that you want to gain, the relationships that you want to deepen, the people you want to meet, and the things that you want to buy. Also, make a list of questions that you want to have answered while you're at the conference. This list will help you focus on your personal agenda during the conference and will maximize your chances of returning with something of value.
Then, scan through the program to select those sessions that will help you the most. These could be on topics that teach skills leading to a promotion, help open new opportunities at work, or answer important questions about your career. If many valuable sessions are scheduled at the same time, then select your first and second choices. You may find that one of the sessions has been canceled or filled (sold out).
Highlight your top priority sessions so you can sign up or arrive early. These sessions generally have such great value that they justify attending the conference, and you want to make sure that you're there when they start.
If your boss must approve attending a conference, use your plan to justify your request. Be sure to include explanations of how the information, relationships, and participation at the conference will enhance your value to your company. Wise leaders always support someone who relates a request to the benefits that come from it.
Work the Plan
While at the conference keep your list of goals and questions in mind. Begin each day by checking your list and identifying those goals that you can achieve during that day. For example, some sessions may provide information that answers some of your questions.
At the end of the day review your list and check off those goals that you accomplished. If you discover new opportunities, then add them to your list of goals. And if you find yourself stuck on reaching a goal, seek out a senior member whom you can ask for advice on how to achieve it.
Often the greatest benefit of attending a conference will be the relationships that you start while there. These relationships can become sources of information, friendship, and job opportunities.
Thus, make it a point to meet new people. Instead of spending all of your time with friends or colleagues, go off on your own. Join other people for meals. Sit next to them during the sessions. Start conversations while walking between sessions. And be sure to ask for a business card. Then you can add that person's contact information into your contact database.
I encourage you to introduce yourself to the speakers. They were invited to speak at the conference because of their expertise in your profession. Thus, they can become valuable resources for information, assistance, and referrals. The best time to meet speakers is right after they finish their presentation. Introduce yourself, offer a brief compliment on the presentation, and ask for a business card. Of course, if you meet them again at the conference, use this as an opportunity to talk further.
Apply What You Gained
When you return home, set aside an hour or so to review the notes that you took while at the conference. You may want to schedule this on your calendar before you leave for the conference.
Review your notes, identifying the main ideas. Then convert each of these ideas into an action on your list of things to do. Once you finish the list add a completion date and assign a priority. Recognize that this step converts everything that you learned, collected, and gained during the conference into tangible benefits for yourself and your company.
If you are an employee, I recommend writing a report for your management. Document the key ideas that you gained and describe how they can be applied to your work. If you're an independent, you may still want to write such a report for yourself because this formalizes what you gained from the conference.
When you return home, write thank you notes to the people who helped you at the conference. This simple courtesy sets you apart as an exceptional person. I especially recommend writing notes to:
1) The leaders in the association. They worked hard to organize the event.
2) Members of the staff who helped you. These people can help you get the most out of your membership.
3) The speakers. This could start relationships with experts and celebrities in your profession.
4) New friends. This makes you memorable when you meet again at the next conference.
Use a conference to immerse yourself in the society and the technology of your profession. And then apply what you gained to advance your career.
IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and author Steve Kaye works with leaders who want to hold effective meeting. His innovative workshops have informed and inspired people nationwide. His facilitation produces results that people will support. Call 714-528-1300 or visit his web site for over 100 pages of valuable ideas. Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.stevekaye.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Barefoot Networks and FOX Networks to Demonstrate the Power of Programmable Forwarding for Professional ... - GlobeNewswire (press release)
Social Network Software
My neighbor - a lovely man I've known, and have had social contact with for years - is the COO of one of the world's largest companies. He's read my books, is familiar with my concepts, and is a fan.
Giving the Gift of Your Name (The Networking Factor)
Although, this is about giving the gift of your name to others, it certainly runs a close second in importance to "Whats' in a name?"What is giving the gift of your name? Giving the gift of your name is when you see someone you haven't seen in a while and you are kind enough to give (remind) him or her your name (the gift) again without any hesitation.It's not nice to keep someone guessing about your name.
Creating Successful Alliances and Partnerships through Networking
Douglas Wilder, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the first elected Black Governor in the United States gave me advice that I will never forget. He said, "From this point on, when you walk into a room, walk in that room like you own it, when you talk with people remember to stand on your principles, keep your word, and people will want to associate with you.
Build Your Business through Strategic Networking
Networking - it's the latest business trend. Or is it?Actually, business owners have always engaged in the art and science of networking.
8 Ways To Develop Confidence In New Situations
Do you enjoy one-on-one networking, however, the thought of walking into room full of people you don't know horrifies you? You're not alone. Yes, even a social butterfly, President of the Social Committee in High School and avid networker knows how you feel.
How to Find Participants for a Trial Run
Why is a network meeting the best place to get participants for a trial run?We talked about taking a booth at a networking event, or at least sharing a booth. The booth has to be more than informational in order to help you move your product or service.
Why Cant I Start A Conversation With You?
One out of every ten Americans has a fear of talking to strangers. When you enter a room full of new faces, to start these conversations seems like an impossible task.
How to Get More Visibility, Increase Your Influence, and Get More Referrals
Earlier today I was helping a client develop a better strategy to generate more referrals from local businesses. While that particular client owns an orthodontic practice, the ideas I gave him will work equally well in your business.
The Answer to Your Worst Networking Nightmare
Imagine you just met your ideal client at a networking event. He's friendly, has great ideas and could use a valuable person like you to help grow his business.
Is The Company You Keep Hurting Your Business?
When you look at your friends, it's like looking into a mirror. Take the sum of characteristics of the five people you spend most of your time with and you will be the average of that sum.
Where Does That Word Come From?
"Instead of a handshake, I gave Toby a high-five to break the ice; and when we sat down on the front porch and started talking off the cuff, it was as if serendipity brought us together."That sentence contains several words and actions you see and hear every day.
Networking to a New Life
Research shows that talking to strangers -- not people in your comfort zone -- is the single most powerful key to a creative career and business move. Yet many people resist.
The Power of Word of Mouth
Most of us remember the commercial that said, "I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and?", well you get the picture. This commercial, which represented Breck Hair Shampoo, ran so many times that even I remember who the commercial represented.
Test Your Networking Know-How
Let's test your knowledge on networking:1)The best definition of networking is: a) Schmoozing at meetings and events b) The solicitation of funds c) Building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships d) Marketing and selling your products and services to everyone in the room so you can meet your sales quota before your boss fires you2) Why do you network? a) To develop your business b) To help other people c) To share information d) All of the above3) What are the most effective ways to network? a) Regularly attending meetings, events and activities b) Talking to random people in the streets, stores, busses and bathrooms c) Offering referrals, resources and recommendations d) It doesn't matter as long as you help others first and remember that it ain't about you4) True or False: Networking is not a skill, but rather a hereditary trait passed down from your father not unlike height or Male Pattern Baldness.5) True or False: Networking isn't always strategic, but frequently occurs by an accident and/or stroke of luck which falls in your lap like a gift from God.
A New LinkedIn Discussion Forum for High Power Dealmakers
For those of you interested in international business transactions or the business networking organization, LinkedIn, a new Yahoo groups discussion forum has been created. Several Yahoo discussion groups already exist on the uses and preferences concerning LinkedIn, such as the Yahoo Group forum called MyLinkedin Power Forum (MLPF), but the messages on that forum were biased.
The Anatomy of a Brain Cramp; The Retainer and the Lavalava - Communication
In life, you have to successfully work with people to get anywhere. You can't avoid it.
Networking Group Loyalty Requirements
How can you find out the group loyalty requirements before you venture forth?Many groups have loyalty requirements in order to make sure that the leads you generate are exclusively for the members of the group. It is important that you make sure you know everything about the group before you join, and loyalty requirements can put a damper on other activities you have planned.
Are You Really Listening: The Importance of Strong Communication Skills
Let's face it, when most people think of IT professionals, the image that comes to mind is the guy or girl with the glasses huddled behind a myriad of computer monitors, incapable of communicating with anyone other than their keyboardIn today's competitive IT marketplace, this person also is exactly the type that no employer wants to bring on board and will, in fact, avoid at all costs. Strong communication skills are one of the most important traits employers are looking for either within the corporate environment or in consulting projects.
Building Bridges - The Importance of Being Connected Where You Live
As a Young Professional (YP) in the up-and-coming city of Milwaukee, WI, I can tell you that it's very important to find a way to get connected in your city. It's important because in order to make a difference, you need to know who those difference makers are.
Plan for the Event or Flounder
Rather than being there to eat the food and drink the drinks, planning before attending an event will change your view.Have you ever attended an event and seen all the people gravitating towards the food and the drinks? That is the first thing people seem to go for.
|home | site map|