Attending Conferences

Conferences | With so much information online should you attend an "in person" conferences? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz shares how a recent and past conferences have taught her so much she can implement today. | #podcast #writingandpublishing #conferencesFive Tips For Getting The Most Our of Attending Conferences – Episode 13

With so much information online should you attend an “in-person” conferences? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz shares how a recent and past conferences have taught her so much she can implement today.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels host of the Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference.

I’ve attended many conferences in my life, upwards of fifty, and at some of these, I was a featured speaker. However, in all of that time, I realized, when I was an attendee that I didn’t have a working plan of what I expected to get out of the conference. How many of you have attended a conference or even a meeting and didn’t even have paper? Maybe you thought it would be provided, maybe you thought you could borrow some, yet do you realize that is a subliminal message (to yourself) that you are not there to learn.

Are you teachable? I’ve met some people that are smart intellectually and think they can figure it out or have all the information they need, perhaps you’ve met people who do not take feedback to heart.

Just this week I attended a conference and truthfully I wasn’t attending it to learn, but to meet people and to see how this conference was run. And, I left pleasantly surprised. First, let me back up – I am pretty teachable. I love to learn and I am what I call a perpetual student. I read science abstracts if I want to learn something about a particular discovery or a study that was done, I interview people who are knowledgable in an area I think my listeners could benefit, and I am … well, a student.

So, while I wasn’t attending *not* to learn, I started off the morning sessions with a small notepad I keep in my person instead of my laptop or spiral notebook I had in the car. I listened and it wasn’t until about forty-five minutes into the sessions that I started to take notes – jotting down ideas, shaking my head and agreeing or being sparked to think of something to do later – an action point. I did go to the car after the lunch break to get my notebook to take notes. If you haven’t listened to my podcast on making connections listen to this here.

And, that is what I want to talk to you about today, how to attend a conference, a meeting or even a webinar and get the most out of it! The conference I attended was particularly for speakers but it extended to people in business, sales-people, real-estate, authors, investors, etc. One of the comments on the website before attending was to dress your best (the mantra: “dress for success”) and I decided on a lace top with one of my nicest pair of linen pants, matching purse, pearls and other jewelry. Understated but elegant. As expected, some people were in business suits, others looked nice but not dressed up. But, this request to dress up set the tone that this was serious and worthwhile.

Here are Five Tips to getting the most out of conferences.

  1. Plan to be dressed up, not over-the-top — but professional – for yourself and your mindset/ outlook more so than for others. (tell about the lady with red hair)
  2. Plan to take notes – if you have this mindset you are planning to learn. After the conference type up the notes, review action points and plan when you will implement these things.
  3. Make action points. As you take notes think about some things you can implement, even if not in the immediate future. (Box)
  4. Bring business cards. This is a must. Try to meet as many new people as possible and get their cards as well. Or, have a pad and ask for their name and email – keep in contact.
  5. Meet the organizers, thank them and be sure to complement when warranted.

One other thought – not necessarily in my top five. I am an impulse buyer. I know this about myself. I decided before attending that I would not purchase anything. Not a book, not a class on DVD and not a private consultation or even learning retreat. That doesn’t mean I won’t do this in the future, just not right now. Why? Because of my time constraints. I know myself and I know when I can and can not do one more thing. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go with an idea of buying. It just means to know before you attend what you plan to do!

Some of my action plans after attending this and other conferences:

  1. Create a how-to-podcast self-paced class.
  2. Create an ebook that I will first sell, and then give away as a freebie on my website.
  3. Create several marketing videos for my upcoming Ultimate Christian Communicators Conference

So, friends, I hope this has inspired you to really listen and be ready to learn when you attend a conference, webinar or even, perhaps listening to an inspiring podcast that to get the most you need to have an attitude of learning!