How to Prepare for Your Next Conference

Conferences are generally expected to be really productive and fun but if one does not prepare well enough, it could end up being completely overwhelming and draining.

The time, energy, and resources invested into conferences make it essential to prepare before going so you won’t end up scrambling and panicking at the last minute.

Below are tips on how to prepare before going for a conference to get the most out of your experience and commitment.

Attitude, Mindset and Energy

It is pretty vital to tie up any loose ends, finish projects, tasks and deadlines. This way, you’ll be able to attend the conference with a clear mind and also caught up. If there’s anything you couldn’t finish on time and it is not really pressing, leave it until you get back.

Focus on looking forward to the event, meeting people and being positive and accessible. Read some positive and motivational content and download an app or take some with you.

Your frame of mind and heart can set you up to have an awesome time and be someone great to meet. Smile, be pleasant, be polite and show your enjoyment.

Schedule, Documents and Sessions

Gather all your travel documents, airline confirmation numbers and flight itinerary and have it all accessible. Get a good picture of your overall travel needs and experience. There are several travel apps that help you organize this on your smart phone including Tripit, TripCase and GateGuru.

In addition, there are apps that offer city guides, things to do and see, restaurants, special events, and connectivity apps to connect you with people and sessions at the conference. These are all very helpful and fairly simple.

Meeting Certain People

The whole point of going to certain conferences is the chance to meet colleagues, speakers or presenters you follow, engage with and that influence you. Don’t forget why they should want to meet you, too.

Be confident in your expertise, know their background, current activity, books, so that you can create good conversations. Google people you want to meet, visit their blogs, websites, social media and learn as much as you can about them.

Handouts, Cards and Branding Statements

Have a current simple, but branded, card with your contact info and logo and make use of both sides. When we make impressions with people, a business card will have more meaning after. It’s a marketing tool.

Make sure you prepare your “professional branding statement” when someone asks, “What do you do?” One sentence that opens the door and offers them something they can remember about you.

Social Media Strategy

Whatever the focus of the conference is should play into your social media strategy. Use LinkedIn to connect to people you meet.

Use Twitter and Google+ to tell people who you have met and share a link to their work or website. Use Facebook to post great pictures and videos of you in action and the experience you are having.