Attending a conference can be overwhelming or very productive. This totally depends on you. If you go there prepared and invest your time and energy, then you can get the most out of it. Below you can find tips to prepare for a conference and get the return of your commitment.
- Learn the Schedule and the Presenters: Look at the conference schedule and find the presentations that you are interested in. Also, study the speakers and identify the ones that will beneficial for you to meet. Research their online profiles and learn their backgrounds so when you are talking with them, you can mention a few key points that you learned through your research. Moreover, don’t forget to mention why they should meet with you and what you can do them for them as well.
- Present Well: If you are one of the presenters, then, pay attention to the content of your slides. Make your slides entertaining. Don’t use too many bullet points and make your slides look overcrowded. Instead, use graphs and pictures whenever possible. Don’t use too much animation in transitions between slides unless you are absolutely sure that all of the animations will work. Remember that simple is always better and less is always more. Also, take every opportunity to connect with your audience. Look your audience in the eyes.
- Take Care of Logistical Details: If the conference is in another city, don’t forget to make travel and accommodation arrangements. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Otherwise, you may come across with unwanted situations such as overbooked flights or hotel rooms. Make yourself familiar with the conference area so you can plan how you are going to make your transfer between the hotel and the conference venue. If the conference is in your home city, then, learn how to get there and how long it takes so you can plan being there on time with your chosen method of transport such as driving, taking a bus or using the metro.
- Use Social Media: Use social media to join the conversation related to the conference. Use the official conference hashtag when making a post and find others who used this hashtag to connect with them. In this way, you can gain new followers or connect with them using their LinkedIn profiles and grow your network. You can even arrange a social gathering with these people before the conference is over so you can meet face to face. By the way, don’t forget to bring a lot of business cards with you because you will need them during the conference.