We all know that attending conferences is an expensive exercise as well as time consuming. You know you need to get the very best out of this event in order to take home some valuable learnings in order to justify the time as well as the expense. It’s really important that you have a plan in place before you leave the office! Below are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your attendance.
- Leave Your Work at Work. Before leaving work ensure that you have put in place appropriate back up plans to cover your work while you are away. Don’t get distracted in sessions by checking your work mail. You’ll miss that all important nugget of information you came to learn.
- Network, Network, Network. Did you know that apparently 70% of people in society are natural introverts? That figure is probably higher as we hide behind our computers and communicate in an anonymous environment more and more. Interacting with others, especially strangers does not come naturally to the majority of us. However, at a conference such as the SAPICS Conference it is so well worth it. The contacts you will make, the learning and interaction with people from different countries, different countries and different industries will be just the motivation you need to continue to network effectively.
- Manage Your Energy. Pace yourself, because this event can be exhausting. The programme is packed with keynote speakers, break out educational speakers, networking events, workshops and more. If you are not careful you can burn out on the first day. Decide in advance what you must do and what sessions or events you can skip – be sure to prioritse.
- Take the opportunity to speak with Speakers after their presentations. There are specially scheduled times when international speakers make themselves available for further discussion. Look out for these opportunities during the programme.
- Know your Learning Objectives. Remember why you motivated so hard to be able to attend SAPICS 2017. Why did you want to attend? What did you hope to learn and who did you want to connect with? Come with a clear why do you want to attend? What do you hope to learn at the event? Who do you need to connect with? What industry trends do you want to know more about?
- Network with the Exhibitors. The exhibitors are industry partners who can show you new technologies or products that can dramatically enhance your work. They have made a significant investment to bring to you updated information on products and services to spark your
- Follow Up. Collect business cards from colleagues and vendors and stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, or Linked-In. Send a quick email reminding people of your conversation at the conference.
- Share what you learn with your colleagues. It will reinforce your own learning, strengthen your team, and make it easier to negotiate attending the event next year.
- Plan to Return in 2018! We shall look forward to welcoming you back. But don’t be a stranger! Remember that the SAPICS calendar is packed full of events throughout the year, not all of which cost money to attend, so keep in touch and get the most out of your membership!