As an association management company, our staff attends many conferences each year. These conferences can include client work or educational seminars. After attending educational conferences, we have several steps that we take in order to make the most out of our experience. If you aren’t doing the following after every event, we suggest that you start.
1. Review your notes. At educational events, we often feel the need to write down EVERYTHING. This can lead to a mess of notes scribbled on a notepad. It is important to review your notes after the conference and type them up to be more legible. This will make you more likely to refer back to them and allow them to be easily shared.
2. Talk about your experience. Speaking of sharing, make sure to let your team in on the fun. Fill them in on any key takeaways. This might spark up ideas for them and could be useful for the whole team. If you have a blog, you can also share what you learned on there. Your notes are already typed up and it would be a great way to engage with people online. Make sure to tag the event and use any hashtags they have.
3. Define any action items. After reviewing your notes, you may notice takeaways that you want to implement into your own organization. Make a list of action items that you want to follow through on. This will keep you from forgetting them and will make your time and money put into the conference worth it.
4. Follow up on connections. If you found yourself talking to the other attendees and enjoying the conversations you had, follow up with them. Add them on LinkedIn or contact them from their business card. These people could be useful to your organization and might forget about your encounter if you don’t reach out shortly after.
If you are attending conferences, you should be ensuring that you get the very most out of each one. By following these steps, you will come away from conferences with new information, networking connections, and inspiration for your organization. Happy conferencing!