Are you heading to a conference? Whether this is your first time or your hundredth, these conference tips will help you enjoy your time while also presenting yourself in the best light possible.
Conferences are a big part of your individual and business growth in every industry, but let’s be honest. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect or what you even need to do to get the most out of them.
Maybe you aren’t sure what your goal should be at a conference. Or perhaps you don’t feel the confidence needed to network with strangers. Whatever the intent or fear, you’re on the roster. So show up in full force and prepare yourself to know how to get the most of it with these helpful conference tips.
Why Should I Go to a Conference?
Let me back up a minute. A lot of you may be asking why you should even bother going to conferences. I mean, you can get all the info there from online anyways…right?
Well – maybe. But what you can’t get online as easily is those connections and networking opportunities. That in itself is worth the price of the ticket!
The Benefits of Going to a Conference
Wondering what some of the benefits of going to a conference are? Here are just a few:
- Social media content from the conference. Often conferences will have representatives from the platforms themselves to give you insight, tips, and tricks.
- Trading information, tactics, and strategizing with other people in your industry. Business-related groups and online clubs are great. But there is something about networking and brainstorming with people who are in your actual industry, however niche it may be, that is eye-opening.
- Get educated on the latest trends and tools others are using. Again, you can get some cutting-edge information here that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.
- Meet potential partners in future work. Need a copywriter or a graphic designer? You may meet the perfect person for the job! Even if you don’t have a project now, you may in the future
- Connect with the speakers and audiences to open up future opportunities. Here’s my favorite thing about conferences – you can build life-changing connections!
Y’all – all it takes is one new relationship to completely change your business and/or career.
Conference Tips About What to Pack
Now that you know why you need to be going to conferences, let’s talk about what to bring with you! A big source of anxiety for many conference-goers is what to bring with them. Here is what you need to have at every conference!
- Extra supplies for those around you. An extra pen could be an easy way to meet your next best friend.
- Memorable items that you may want someone at the conference to sign
- A power strip and extra phone charger. This is one quick way to be the most popular one in the room.
- Snacks for the conference table
- A light coat or sweater. Conference rooms can be an arctic blast or a sauna. Go prepared for both!
- Business cards. Don’t forget these! If you’re doing all the hard work charming people, make sure to drop a business card in their hand to keep in touch.
- Note-taking supplies. Whether you want to use a notebook, an iPad or a laptop, you’ll be happy you have something to write down all your ah-ha moments on.
Conference Tips: How to Stand Out From the Crowd
Now that you’re packed and ready, let’s talk about how to stand out from the crowd. These are some of the most important conference tips to implement – it doesn’t matter what supplies you have on hand if you aren’t able to connect with anyone. These are some of my favorite conference attending tips:
- Show up with a goal in mind. Is there someone there that can help you? Can you help them? Make sure you have a plan on how you’re going to make the connection happen.
- Follow the conference hashtag on social media. Virtually every conference has one of these – be an active participant and connect with others using it.
- Check the agenda for important times.
- Have an elevator pitch. Don’t overcomplicate this, ya’ll. All this means is you need to practice saying what you do, in simple terms. Make it 15 seconds or so–short and sweet.
- Show up to the pre-event socials ready to chat!
- Stay at the hotel that the conference is in – this gives you every opportunity to meet and mingle with the other attendees.
- Set up your out of office so you can relax. Make sure people know that you’re out of the office, set your shipping times with a little extra time gap, set up the out of office replies, etc
Conference Tips for Building Connections with Others
Remember, building those awesome, business-changing connections can happen at a business conference! Make sure you take advantage. Here are some tips to help you:
- Connect with your new friends on social media. When you meet someone, ask them how you can connect on social not just a business card!
- Keep up with the new connections. Follow up with people that you’ve met at the conference, after the conference. it’ll leave a longer first impression
- TAKE PICTURES & VIDEO CLIPS – you have a ton of social media content at your fingertips when you attend a conference. USE IT!
- Wear an eye-catching piece of clothing that makes other attendees feel the need to talk to you. No, you don’t have to go totally crazy, unless you want to. But a fun statement piece will sure to draw the eye!
- Have some easy conversation starters in mind. Again, don’t over-complicate this. It can be as simple as “what did you think of xyz presenter”, or “Hi, I’m… I don’t think we’ve met”…
- Find dinner dates at lunch. Use mealtimes as opportunities to solidify your connections. No eating take out in your hotel room, y’all!
- Enjoy yourself!
I hope this helps you get the most out of your next conference! By the way, if you are attending Wreath Makers Live, I’ve got a whole post with info and tips devoted specifically to it! Here are tips for attending Wreath Makers Live.
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