Conferences. When you’re a budding professional, business conferences hold a lot of weight, worthy both of dread and excitement. A good business conference can spark innovative new ideas for your career, while a poorly run business conference can feel like a waste of time, money, and resources. Regardless of how well the conference is executed, however, work has to be done on your end to get the most out of a business conference. If you’ve recently been signed up for a conference, or are considering going to a conference in the near future, here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of the event.
Go into It with the Right Attitude
Getting the most out of a business conference starts with a positive attitude. If you go into the conference expecting it to be a waste of your time, you will invariably find it to be a waste of your time. If, on the other hand, you go into the conference with the attitude that it’s a good growth opportunity or that there is something to be learned there, you’re likely to find a nugget of great knowledge even in an otherwise droll conference.
Sometimes the people you attend a conference with are the greatest obstacle to this feat. If everyone around you is complaining about having to attend the conference, it’s hard to keep a positive outlook. If you find yourself in that position, try letting them know that you’re trying to get the most out of the conference. Often, that’s all it takes for them to settle down and do the same. If not, you can also try sitting at a different table.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Many conferences include a selection of food to eat throughout the day, but they don’t all have a selection of healthy food. Eating sugary foods like donuts and croissants all day long can leave you feeling sluggish, tired, and inattentive. That’s why it’s always a good idea to pack a few healthy snacks with you when you go to a conference. If there are healthy snacks at the conference, you don’t have to pull them out, but if there aren’t any healthy snacks, having an apple or clementine that you can pull out for some quick energy when you start to feel the mid-conference slump.
Choose Sessions You’re Interested In
Business conferences often have multiple sessions on different topics happening simultaneously. To make the most out of your business conference, be sure to read about the different sessions that are happening. Rather than choosing the session that you think you should based on your position or the session that the majority of your coworkers are attending, choose the session that you truly think is the most interesting. This will make you more likely to pay attention throughout the session, and often you can find something to pass on to your office even when you come out of a seemingly unrelated session.
Take Good Notes
One of the worst things that can happen as a professional is attending a business conference, learning about a great new practice that you could implement that would really help your business, and then forgetting about it when you get back to the office. It’s important to bring a nice notebook with you when you go to a conference so that you can take detailed notes on what the speakers are saying. Taking notes can also keep your mind from wandering away from the keynote speaker and can help you retain more information afterward.
There’s no reason that the term business conference should summon feelings of dread in the pit of your stomach. Business conferences can be a great opportunity for growth and development for you and your company both. The biggest key to success is going into the conference believing that it will be time well spent. As long as you have the right attitude, almost any conference can hold a nugget of wisdom for you to carry with you.