By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on October 31, 2019
Filed under: Business Development, Event, Strategic Communication

How to make the most of conferences (6 action steps!)

Here at Platinum PR, we support and attend a lot of different conferences in the months of September and October. 

Last week, MEDA held their Fall Conference in conjunction with Economic Development Week. The theme was “Defining Your Community Identity”. A few weeks before that was the IEDC Conference in Indianapolis. 

Conferences provide the opportunity to spend a couple days (or more) submerged in talks, workshops, and breakout sessions. 

So how do you make the most of this information once the conference is over? Don’t just keep the knowledge gained to yourself… share it!

  • Share what you learned with your team: Write a recap of what you learned and share it with your team. Together, you can look at how your organization can implement some of the examples of best practices. 
  • Share what you learned in a blog: Write up a post-conference blog sharing some of the highlights and what you learned, and share it with your audience. 
  • Share what you learned with your board: Keep your local board in the know by sharing with them what you took away from the conference, and how your team plans on implementing it. 

Even more than the content, the in-person element of conferences is what next-levels the entire experience. 

Conferences provide the opportunity to nurture existing relationships, reconnect with contacts, network outside of your comfort zone, and expand your scope of relationships. The people you meet can become colleagues, clients, referral partners, or important collaborators. 

So what should you do with all those new contacts when you leave? 

  • Connect with the people you met on LinkedIn. Add your new contacts to your LinkedIn network so you can easily stay connected.
  • Send a personalized email and add value. By sending a personalized email, you can stand out as more than just another business card. Share something you specifically enjoyed about meeting them. Based on what they shared, is there any way you can add value to them – such as connecting them to someone else or sharing helpful articles or tools for their business? 
  • Don’t forget the speakers! If there were speakers you’d really like to build a relationship with, send them and email and let them know what you really enjoyed about their presentation, and get more details about their programs. 

In life and business, I believe that you get out what you put in. What other efforts can you make after conferences to reap the rewards from your experience?  Share in the comment section down below!

’Til next time,
Sandy

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