How to Get the Most From a Conference

3 min read
How To's
By: Maddy Osman

I’ve been to a LOT of conferences recently. They tend to not be cheap, and even if you manage to get in for free, or paid by your company, you’re still dedicating a chunk of time and effort to learning and networking. So make the most of it! Here’s how to get the most from a conference:

Dress the Part

The goal is to meet with as many people as possible. Don’t give off a bad first impression by dressing like a slop. Put a little extra effort into getting ready on a day you know you’ll be meeting lots of potential business connections!

Make sure your social profiles are looking good

Most conferences have some sort of online component, especially the ones I go to that tend to focus on the idea of digital marketing.

As such, you want to make sure that you’re putting your best digital foot forward. A couple things to consider:

Follow the Hashtag

Most socially-savvy conferences will have a hashtag you can follow to connect with conference-goers. Connect with people on that hashtag and make sure that you:

Use a tool like Pablo by Buffer to make tweets more pretty, and more importantly, stand out in what’s sure to be a crowded conversation.

Make a Twitter List

Another no-brainer way to connect with conference attendees is to create a Twitter List and add people using the conference hashtag. They’ll be appreciative of being noticed!

Bring Business Cards

Now to talk about connecting offline. Make sure that you bring a large amount of business cards. People are going to be meeting a lot of people and collecting a lot of business cards, so do your best to stand out. I recently made some that have a (cartoon) pictures of my face on them to make it easier for people to remember me.

Introduce Yourself in Person

Make sure that when the speaking sessions are over, you make an effort to connect with fellow conference attendees in person. There will be certain planned networking sessions, but feel free to offer to grab a drink with anyone else you met and were clicking with during the day – and encourage others to join!

Know Your Elevator Pitch

Can you describe yourself and what you do in 45 seconds or less? If not, you should start practicing!

Take Notes and Share them

There’s a lot to be learned by attending a conference featuring many thought leaders in your industry. Take good notes, and offer to share them when all is said and done. People will appreciate the effort, and you’ll have someone to show for your time that can be taken back to your team.

Connect After the Conference

If you haven’t been doing it already, connect with people who’s business cards you’ve gotten, have interacted with online, and speakers.

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Final Thoughts: How to Get the Most From a Conference

Whatever your purpose for attending, be intentional about what’s in store for you. You may miss several opportunities from the best things you could do for your career. Therefore, you should develop better objectives the next time you attend.
What are your best tips for how to get the most from a conference?

Share in the comments so we can all be better conference-goers!

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Maddy Osman

The Blogsmith

Maddy Osman is the author of Writing for Humans and Robots: The New Rules of Content Style. She's a digital native with a decade-long devotion to creating engaging, accessible, and relevant content. Her efforts have earned her a spot in BuzzSumo’s Top 100 Content Marketers and The Write Life’s 100 Best Websites for Writers. She has spoken for audiences at WordCamp US, SearchCon, and Denver Startup Week.

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