In my last blog I shared my strategies for getting ready to attend an industry conference so you set yourself up to get the most from it. But if you are anything like me, when you get home from a conference your head is swirling with new information. There are so many ideas, tips, tactics, new contacts…it’s a lot to digest. So just how do you sort it all out so that it’s actionable and no longer overwhelming? I’ve got 7 tips that have always helped me to get back to work, back on track and to make the most of my conference experience, including my most recent conference, Agents of Change (theagentsofchange.com) by Rich Brooks held in Portland, Maine.
1. Register for Next Year
Was this conference so amazingly awesome that you know you want to come back next year? Then book your ticket immediately! Most conferences offer a great deal on tickets if you purchase them before the event ends or within a few days of it ending. This ensures you are going to continue learning and prevents you from talking yourself out of it as next year’s event gets near. As Nike says, Just Do It!
2. Write Things Down
I always make a list of the strategies I want to test or implement, new tools that I want to research and utilize, and people I want to follow up with. I’m one of those “list” types of people and if you want to be productive you should probably do the same. Keep that list right on top of your desk so you have a road map to work from.
I’m one of those list types of people, and if you want to be productive, you should probably do the same. Click To Tweet
3. Watch or Listen to Sessions You Missed
I am so bad at this that I actually have to block out time in my calendar just to go back an watch or listen to the sessions that I wasn’t able to attend. Not every conference will provide this awesome follow-up, but for the ones that do, take advantage of it because you paid for it! It’s also a pretty expensive and time consuming task for the conference hosts to put together and they are doing it because it adds so much value to your experience. So identify which speakers you missed and literally write it in your calendar and go learn some more!
4. Write a Blog
If you are a blogger, or maybe have a blog page but are never quite sure what to write about… here’s an easy one: “My top 5 takeaways from the Acme Company Conference.” Or maybe “The 3 biggest lessons I learned after attending my first big industry conference.” The possibilities are endless! But you went and your audience probably didn’t, so share your experience with them in a way that provides value and highlights your love for learning more about your profession.
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5. Follow up with New Contacts
If you’ve been networking like you should be at these events, you should have a stack of business cards, or new connections on LinkedIn or another social platform. Now is the time to begin nurturing those relationships. Don’t let them forget you… connect quickly! During this last conference I met some of the most amazing women EVER. I didn’t even wait until I was back on the plane before I started connecting with them everywhere I could find them and sending private messages telling them how thrilled I was to meet them, setting up calls to talk more about collaborating, creating accountability partnerships and connecting them with people in my network that I felt they would benefit from knowing.
6. Thank Your Favorite Speakers
So here’s the deal, did you know that often these speakers don’t even get paid to share all their knowledge with you? If you were in a session and you learned something new, send out some love to that speaker by tagging them in posts, sending private messages, and sharing quotes on your social platforms from their presentations. Get creative with your “thank you” and you won’t just make them feel appreciated (which they deserve) but just might help you to build a relationship with an expert that might be very beneficial to you. This last event was packed with my favorite speakers, mentors, friends and admired influencers. You can bet I was showing my appreciation with tweets, Instagram photos and even this blog with my faves: Jay Baer, Rich Brooks, Viveka VonRosen and Sue Zimmerman. They were amazing and the knowledge they shared helps me to do my job even better, and I want them to know it!
Don’t miss opportunities to get input from others or to help them identify the things that produce the best results. Click To Tweet
7. Implement and Share Your Experience
Now it’s time to get to work! Try a new technique or strategy and then share your experience. Many of these conferences have private Facebook groups where you can continue to converse with other attendees to share your struggles and successes. Don’t miss opportunities to get input from others or to help them identify the things that produce the best results. Be that person that comes home and takes action!!
I hope you’ve got at least 1 big conference on the calendar this year so you can implement these strategies because I have no doubt, they’ll help you make the most of your experience. If you have anything else to add, please share in the comments below. Or if you’ve got a great conference to recommend, let us know what it is!
President, Think Big Go Local, Inc.
My mission at Think Big Go Local is to create a “buzz” around our client’s businesses online and in social media platforms so their message reaches their desired audience. We know that relationships are built and maintained online each and every day and work to make sure our clients are building credibility, authority and attracting new followers and clients . We don’t work in a cookie cutter environment, each of our clients is unique and their accounts are fully managed using their voice, talking to their specific audience and sharing value that keeps them coming back.