Attending an industry conference presents great opportunities to further educate yourself about your field and network with peers in your industry. Whether your company has asked you to attend a conference or you’ve chosen to participate for your own benefit, it’s crucial that you make the most of it.
Here are Lexicon’s best practices for maximizing your time at conferences:
1. Do your homework.
Whether you set goals for what you’d like to learn or whom you’d like to meet, prepping is key. Some conferences publish a list of attendees beforehand. This allows you to research people you’d like to meet and make appointments before you travel.
2. Schedule your time.
Don’t arrive at the first session without a schedule in mind. This could lead to missing out on valuable sessions and events. Defining goals for the conference will help map out which sessions you’ll listen to and which events you’ll attend.
3. Arrive early.
This makes it easier to engage with other attendees (or presenters) before the excitement of the session sets in. You’ll have the opportunity to make a good first impression when the room isn’t packed with people.
4. Focus on building relationships.
It might take the same amount of time to talk to a few people as it does to hand out 30 business cards, but the first is far more valuable. Make an impression by focusing the conversation on that person, not you.
5. Always follow up.
Don’t let those successful connections you make go to waste. Afterward, follow up with an email, phone call, or LinkedIn invite. If you’re not sure if they’ll remember you, add a note to jog their memory.
Lexicon is an award-winning firm in Des Moines, Iowa, that specializes in content marketing.