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How to Get the Most Out of a Conference

Change your mindset

See networking from a different perspective: You’re not just networking because you should; you’re doing it because it’s good for your career.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference

https://hbr.org/2015/07/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-conference

hbr.org

6

Key Ideas

Attending conferences

Conferences are overwhelming:  the rush of presentations, conversations, and potential meet-ups, and it can make it tough for you if you want to find focus.

But skipping them isn't the best solution: you’re missing out on the benefits of networking.

Pre-introduce yourself

Think about the people you would like to get to know and then carve out time to accomplish that goal:

  • A few before the conference, make a 'priority wish list' of people you’d like to meet. 
  • Send those people an email introducing yourself and asking to meet; if possible, get an introduction from a mutual friend or colleague.

Be strategic with your time

When choosing which sessions to attend, consider this:

  • A session should fulfill either a content goal (should be educational) or
  • It should fulfill an interpersonal goal (you want to meet or support the person who is presenting).

Talk less, listen more

  • Ask people to introduce themselves. Think of commonalities among group members and highlight those when you’re making introductions.
  • Ask thoughtful questions and listen carefully to how others respond. 
  • Having conversation starters at the ready can make small talk more palatable.

Get the most out of a conference

Do:

  • Focus on how networking is good for your career
  • When choosing a sessions, consider whether you’ll learn something or meet someone new
  • Create networking situations where you feel comfortable.

Don’t:

  • Spend all of your time with coworkers you see every day.
  • Burn out. Give yourself time to rest and rejuvenate during the conference
  • Try to be someone you’re not.

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