Today we hear from Dan, who is looking for things he can do before a conference to prepare and get the most of it.
Turns out I had a lot of suggestions. 🙂
- Sketch a schedule for yourself ahead of time, including key sessions that you want to attend, and any particular people you want to meet.
- Do your homework on those people so you can ask informed questions (thanks, Mac!).
- Think of clever ways to work those meetings into your schedule.
- Leave room in the schedule for some pieces of your regular routine. Losing your sanity is not a recipe for success!
- Don’t be TOO attached to the schedule you sketch. Remain open to new opportunities that might present themselves.
- Practice the pitch that you’ll use to introduce yourself. Find the sweet spot where you say enough to be interesting and unique, but not so much that the asker is sorry they asked! (Thanks, Stephanie!).
- Wear brightly colored clothes so you stand out from the crowd (Stephanie again!).
- And wear comfortable shoes, maybe even sneakers. Because these feet are gonna be with you for your whole life (thanks to all of the yoga teachers I’ve ever had).
- Manage expectations with folks at the office. Let them know that you won’t be responding for a few days, so you can minimize distractions and BE PRESENT at the conference. Explain to your boss that in the long run, this will serve the organization better.
- Talk to strangers.
Notes and Links
“6 Ways To Make the Most of Your Next Social Change Conference,” blog post by Mac Prichard
“Channel Your Inner Animal This Conference Season,” blog post by Stephanie Foerster
“After the Awesome Conference: How to Take the Lessons and Energy Home With You,” episode 004 of the Yoga of Nonprofit Communications Podcast