Making the Most of Your Next Conference

Making the Most of Your Next Conference

Let’s face it, conferences are not cheap. Therefore you want to make the most out of your time at your next conference, regardless of what the topic is about.

But how you can do this without making it feel like you are back in high school, forced to sit in the front row and take notes?

1. Have an objective

There is obviously some reason you are taking time out from your busy PA/EA/VA position.

  • What resonates with you about the conference?
  • What is your aim?
  • Was it to meet someone in particular or hear a certain speaker give their take on a specific subject?
  • Did you want to learn something new?

Whatever it is, make sure you have that aim in the back of your mind at all times and don’t spend all your time drinking coffee and hovering over the doughnut table!

2. Research the speakers and suppliers

Who is going to be at the session?

There is no point signing up to attend the conference if you don’t know the speakers and suppliers that will be attending. Find out who will be attending and determine what you can learn from them. Be open to what they have to say from the outset and then weigh the conversations later once you have had a chance to take it all in.

3. Plan your day

Know where you will be at specific times of the day to anticipate how long you have to network and how long you have to take notes. Don’t just wing it! Immerse yourself into each phase of the conference and soak up the atmosphere of being in one room with a bunch of other like-minded individuals.

4. Plan to network

If you fail to network, then you are missing out on opportunities to learn. Seek out people who you would like to meet in particular. But don’t let the networking stop there. Take business cards and plan private gatherings with like-minded people so the learning can continue well past the conference. And don’t forget the power of an after-conference coffee or even impromptu dinner. Network, network, network!

5. Plan to take action 

Take notes so the learning does not stop at the conference and then separate the action points for follow up. What did you learn from attending the conference? If you only do one thing following your next conference, then make sure you take the key takeaways and apply them to your personal situation.

Never stop learning!

If you are serious about your learning, then we recommend the following conferences to help you get started.

For your chance to win tickets to two of the conferences mentioned above, visit the competition page on PA Pages. And good luck to those who enter!

PA Pages

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